Penguin Facts: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

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The penguin is widely regarded as one of the cutest and most interesting creatures on the planet. However, despite the fact that penguins have spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about the penguin. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: There Are 17 Different Penguin Species – And They’re All Found in the Southern Hemisphere

In fact, all 17 different penguin species are found only in the Southern Hemisphere. You won’t find any naturally living anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

Number Fourteen: The Tallest Species Are Emperor Penguins

At nearly four feet tall, emperor penguins are the tallest species of penguin. In contrast, little blue penguins are the shortest species – they’re just 16 inches tall.

Number Thirteen: The Fastest Species Can Swim Over 20 Miles Per Hour

It’s true! Gentoo penguins are the quickest swimming species, and they can swim at speeds up to 22 miles per hour.

Number Twelve: Their Coloring Is Incredibly Strategic

There’s a reason that penguins have dark backs and light stomachs. When they swim, predators above have trouble see them because the water blends into their dark back. From below, other predators struggle to see them because their light stomachs blend in with the sun.

Number Eleven: They Have a Special Gland to Filter Seawater

When hunting in the water, penguins end up drinking a lot of seawater. This isn’t exactly healthy, so they actually have a special gland to deal with it! The gland is called the supraorbital gland and it’s behind their eyes. It keeps the salty ocean water from getting into their blood.

Number Ten: They Undergo What’s Called the ‘Catastrophic Molt’

While most birds molt just a few feathers at a time, penguins molt their feathers all at once in an event commonly referred to as the catastrophic molt. They have to spend several weeks on land while they regrow their feathers.

Number Nine: Some Species Are Monogamous

While not every species of penguin stays with the same partner, many penguins will choose to mate with the same partner every breeding season. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about penguins, coming soon!

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