Penguins are cute creatures that we love to watch waddle around, but do you know how many species of penguins there are?! Or where they live? Learn all about penguins with us and with penguin expert, Dyan deNapoli – also known as The Penguin Lady – in this fun penguin facts video!
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Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:01
Penguins. They’re often associated with cold weather and being super cute. But we knew there had to be more to these amazing creatures, so we wanted to find and share several amazing and interesting facts about them.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:13
And one of the things that inspired us to do this is our friend Dyan deNapoli, also known as The Penguin Lady. And she’s a penguin expert. She managed the rescue 20 years ago from the treasure oil spill back in South Africa. And she’s just continued to educate and recently came out with this book, It’s All About Penguins. It’s a children’s book that shares lots of great facts.
So, we reached out to her. And throughout this video, you’re going to see her pop in and share some of her fun facts. But we’re also going to share the facts that we loved with you.
1. Penguins Evolved From Dinosaurs
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:40
The first fact we learned is that penguins have actually been on Earth for 60 million years and evolved from dinosaurs.
Dyan deNapoli, The Penguin Lady – 0:47
And we now know, in fact, that some dinosaurs had feathers. They started growing feathers and so, what they started evolving into was birds. And then some of those birds, about 60 million years ago, began to lose the ability to fly and their wings got shorter, stiffer, and flatter, so that they could move through water, which is thicker and harder to move through than air. And so, that was one of the changes they made in their bodies to become penguins.
2. There Are 19 Different Penguin Species
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 1:13
And from that, they’ve evolved into 19 species of penguins, ranging in size from just under a foot from the Little Blue Penguin, often called the Fairy Penguin, all the way up to Emperor Penguins, which can be almost four feet tall.
3. Most Penguins Live Below the Equator
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 1:29
And most penguins live below the equator, so in the southern hemisphere. Galapagos penguins are actually the only penguins that have ever nested above the equator.
4. Only 4 Penguin Species Live in Antarctica
Dyan deNapoli, The Penguin Lady – 1:39
One fun fact about penguins is that only four penguin species live and breed in Antarctica. Most live and breed in much warmer places.
5. Penguins Molt Once a Year
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 1:47
And once a year, penguins molt. So, that means they lose all their feathers and grow new ones. But they do this on land, so they also have to eat a ton of food beforehand because they can’t hunt while they’re molting.
6. Most Penguins Can Dive Down 300 Feet
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:00
When they are hunting and swimming, most penguins can dive down about 300 feet. But back to those really large Emperor Penguins, they can dive down 1,800 feet.
7. Penguins Have Knees
Dyan deNapoli, The Penguin Lady – 2:10
One of my favorite facts about penguins is they look like legless wonders, but in fact, they have knees. It’s just they keep them bent all the time like they’re squatting, so it looks like they don’t have any.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:23
And that’s why their legs look so short and they waddle.
8. Penguins Have Camouflage
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder 2:26
We’re used to seeing penguins being colored with white stomachs and black backs, but there’s a reason for that. Their belly is actually white, so that when predators are swimming underneath them and look up, it blends in more with the reflection of the light above. And their backs are black, so when predators are swimming over them and look down, they blend with the darkness below. So, it’s actually a camouflage and it’s called countershading.
9. Penguins Can Identify Voices
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:51
Penguins are also pretty loud and they can identify their family members by their voices.
Dyan deNapoli, The Penguin Lady – 2:57
Penguins not only recognize each other’s voices. They recognize human voices as well.
I worked with penguins for nine years at the New England Aquarium in Boston. And even years after I left that job, whenever I would go to visit and they would hear my voice, they would start calling and braying and coming over to greet me because they remembered the sound of my voice.
10. Penguins Don’t Have Teeth
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 3:17
And one of my favorite facts is that penguins don’t actually have teeth. They just have rubbery prongs on their tongues and the roof of their mouth, so they can hold on to that slippery seafood that they’re catching.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 3:27
And the biggest thing to keep in mind is that most penguin species are threatened or endangered. And you can help by taking steps to save the environment like recycling or volunteering to keep our oceans clean.
Dyan deNapoli, The Penguin Lady – 3:40
If you’d like to learn more and get the book, All About Penguins, it is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. And you can also ask your local bookseller to order it for you.
If you want to do something to help penguins specifically, you can go to my website, ThePenguinLady.com, and there’s a whole section on my website about how you can help penguins. So, there’s a donation page that has a list of penguin rescue groups all around the world that you can support the work that they do to help save penguins in the wild. I donate to all of those every year as well, so you can help me help penguins by going there.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 4:12
These were just some really quick fun facts. We hope you learned something. Let us know if you have a favorite fact about penguins. Maybe they’re your favorite animal and you have a favorite species that you want to share. Comment below and fill us in.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 4:23
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What is your favorite penguin fact?
For more information on Dyan deNapoli, The Penguin Lady:
Website – thepenguinlady.com
All About Penguins Book – Amazon
Facebook – The Penguin Lady
Twitter – @thepenguinlady