April 25 is World Penguin Day, which was created to raise awareness about protecting penguins from things like pollution and overfishing. Here are some things you might not know about penguins:
- Only 2 of the 17 species live in Antarctica, with some living in much warmer habitats, such as the Galapagos Islands.
- Unlike other wild animals, male penguins tend to help raise their newborn chicks for a few months. What’s more, many males find the same penguin to mate with every year!
- On average, penguins swim at around 4 to 7 mph. The Gentoo penguin can swim at up to 22mph, which makes Michael Phelps (who swims at 6mph) look like a real slowcoach in the pool!
- Penguins can drink salt water. The salt is expelled through glands below the eyes. How? With a sneeze!
- The penguin’s black and white coat acts as a camouflage. From above, the black feathers blend in with the sea below, which helps penguins to hide from predators.
- The ancestor of the modern penguin (the Waimanu Manneringi) dates back 60 million years, which means that penguins outlived the dinosaurs!