After creating the favorite penguin book list for kids, I couldn’t help but keep researching penguins. From baby penguin facts to penguin conservation facts, this collection has a little of everything.
Use these 50 interesting penguin facts for kids to spark conversations and create a connection to nature. As you’ll learn, experts believe penguins let us know how healthy our oceans are. Raising the next generations to care about penguins is vital in caring for mama earth.
Penguins are birds, but they can’t fly.
A penguin’s “wings” are actually flippers.
A penguin’s tail helps it balance on land.
Penguins eat fish, plus squid, crabs, and krill.
Penguins swallow their food whole without chewing.
It is dangerous for humans to drink salt water, but penguins can. Their bodies have a special gland that filters out the salt.
Penguins use a type of camouflage called countershading.
That’s when the bottom of the body is light, and the top of the body is dark. These colors make it hard to see penguins from above or below when they swim.
Penguins have a gland by their tail that produces oil. They spread this oil all over their bodies to waterproof their feathers.
Penguins have unique feet. They can walk long distances on ice and swim fast in the water.
The smallest penguin grows to be just over a foot tall. They are called little blue penguins.
Emperor penguins, the biggest species, grow over 4 feet tall.
One ancient species of penguin was giant. Almost as tall as adult humans!
Penguins and polar bears don’t live in the same place. Penguins only live in the southern hemisphere.
A group of penguins in the water is called a raft. On land, a group of penguins is called a waddle. A waddle!
Groups of penguins are also called colonies, huddles, and rookery.
A colony of penguins can have thousands or even millions of penguins.
Penguins gather in groups to keep each other warm. This also helps protect them.
Pictures from space helped discover new penguin colonies. Actually, the scientists saw the penguins’ poop.
Some species of male penguins will give rocks to female penguins as gifts.
Some species of penguins will have only one mate their whole lives.
The catastrophic molt is when penguins shed all their feathers, almost at once. The feathers are replaced with waterproof winter feathers.
On land, foxes, leopards, and cats are the biggest predators.
Penguin poop is good for the environment. It helps bring nutrients from the ocean onto land.
Penguins spend most of their time in the water.
The shape of a penguin’s body helps them swim very fast.
Penguins jump into the air before diving into the water. This releases the air from their feathers so they can swim faster.
Most penguins swim slower than 10 miles per hour.
The gentoo species of penguin can swim up to 20 miles per hour.
Penguins can hold their breath underwater for a long time. The average amount of time is 2 to 6 minutes. Emperor penguins can hold their breath for 20 minutes!
When penguins dive, they slow down their heart rate and use oxygen stored in their bodies. This helps them stay underwater longer.
To get out of the water, penguins will leap high into the air. Sometimes they jump as high as 6 feet!
Baby Penguin Facts
Baby penguins are called chicks.
Baby penguins have fluffy feathers to help keep their tiny bodies warm.
Penguins return to the same place each year to lay eggs.
Some penguins build nests with rocks, and others will dig small burrows in the ground.
Both penguin parents take turns keeping the eggs warm.
When the male penguin is warming the eggs, the female penguins hunt and bring back food.
Most penguins lay two eggs each year, except emperor penguins. They lay only one.
More Wintery Weather Facts:
Pollution, especially from oil, has hurt the penguin population.
Fishing is harmful to penguins because it destroys their food supply.
Climate change is warming the oceans and melting the ice. Penguins need the ice because that’s where they rest and build nests.
There are only 18 species of penguins left. And 10 of those species are endangered.
Experts believe penguins are a symbol of ocean health. If penguin populations are healthy, the oceans are too.
When there isn’t enough food, it takes parent penguins longer to hunt. Sadly, this means the parents have to leave their chicks longer, and fewer chicks survive.
Ocean sanctuaries would help penguins and other ocean life survive.
Hello parents and early childhood educators. I hope you found some interesting penguin facts to share with the children in your life. Explore the perfect penguin activity to keep learning.