What Are Some Adaptations Penguins Have Made?

Penguins have a number of adaptations that facilitate their survival, including staying warm with a layer of feathers that traps air. Their body heat also warms the air around them. Their feathers form a barrier that keeps water off of their skin. Larger penguins have adapted to life in colder climates because their rotund bodies lose heat at a slower rate than the bodies of smaller penguins.

Penguins stay cool with open patches around their eyes. These patches have no feathers and allow heat to escape their bodies. They can lift their feathers to allow additional warm air to escape, and their feet have a blood-exchange system that releases heat. There are tiny blood vessels on their wings to help penguins cool down whenever they spread their wings.

The position of penguins' feet and their wing shape allow them to maneuver through water as if they are flying. Penguins can swim up to 15 miles an hour. Unlike other birds, penguins have solid bones, making them less buoyant, so they can dive deeper for food.

The black-and-white coloration of their bodies camouflages penguins in the water for hunting and protection against predators. Penguins have small glands that are located above their eyes and beneath their skin to keep ocean salt out of their eyes. The salt trickles down to their beaks, and they make sneezing sounds to get rid of it.