The smallest type of penguin is only around 10 inches tall.Growing only to a height of 10 to 12 inches blue penguins are also known as little penguins. They’re native to Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania.
The largest, however, can grow to be over four feet.Emperor penguins are the largest species of penguin. Native to Antarctica, they’re characterized by their regal stature. They can grow upwards of 50 inches tall
There was once a “mega” penguin that stood 6.5 feet tall and weighed more than 250 pounds.In 2014, scientists uncovered the 37-million-year-old remains of a “colossus” or “mega” penguin species on Seymour Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. Based on their findings, researchers estimated that the massive bird would have been 6.5 feet tall and would have weighed more than 250 pounds.
Penguins’ black and white coloring is the perfect camouflage for swimming in the ocean.Known as countershading, penguins’ black and white coloring protects the birds from predators such as leopard seals and sharks. As seen from below, their white undersides are hard to distinguish from the brightness of the ocean’s surface.
Penguins tend to be monogamous.The majority of penguin species are monogamous. During mating season, one male penguin will pair off with one female penguin — but it’s the female birds who compete for a mate.
There are same-sex penguin couples.
Along with bears and flamingos, penguins are among the 1,500 animal species that practice same-sex coupling.
At Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent, England, two male Humboldt penguins named Jumbs and Kermit raised a chick that the baby’s father had refused to incubate. In New York City, Roy and Silo, a pair of chinstrap penguins at Central Park Zoo, incubated a fertile egg and reared the chick when she hatched.
Male emperor penguins incubate eggs while the female goes hunting.
While female emperor penguins go on a two-month hunting trip, the males protect and warm newly laid eggs by sheltering them in a sack of feathered skin called a brood pouch.
Incredibly, male emperors eat nothing until the females return to regurgitate food for their chicks. Then, they’re free to leave their young and can head to the sea to find something to eat.