What Are Some Fun Facts About Penguins?

Penguins are flightless birds that almost appear to wear little tuxedos because of their coloring. Their white and black coloring is actually camouflage from predators since their white bellies blend with the surface of the water when viewed from below, and their black backs cannot be distinguished from the bottom of the ocean when looked at from above.

There are 17 species of penguins, all of which are naturally found in the southern hemisphere. Penguins range in height from the nearly 4-foot tall Emperor Penguin to the 16-inch tall Little Blue Penguin. All penguins are carnivores, but they do not have teeth. Instead, they have fleshy spines in their mouths that force their food downward and into their throats, notes Smithsonian.com.

While eating, penguins take in a lot of saltwater, but this gets processed out through a gland near their eyes, which expels the saltwater through their beaks or when they sneeze. Most penguins swim at a slow four to seven miles per hour, but the fastest penguin, the Gentoo, can swim at speeds of up to 22 mph. When it comes to mating, many species of penguins mate for life, and all but two species live and mate in large colonies of thousands of penguins.