Q:

What kind of fish do penguins eat?

A:

Quick Answer

The types of fish that penguins eat include sardines, smelt, herring and anchovies. Fish make up different portions of the diets of different species of penguins. For instance, fish make up four percent of the diet of chinstrap penguins and 90 percent of the diet of emperor penguins.

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Full Answer

In addition to eating fish, penguins also eat krill, squid, crustaceans and amphipods. Krill are shrimp-like creatures that are approximately two inches in length. They are typically eaten by macaroni, Adélie and chinstrap penguins. Juvenile squid and other small squid such as arrow and greater hooked squid become part of the diet of penguins during the summer months when they are plentiful. They are typically eaten by gentoo, emperor and rockhopper penguins.

Penguins also dive down to depths as great as 330 feet to retrieve crustaceans such as shrimp, crab and sand hoppers from the ocean floor. Amphipods, which are found underneath sea ice, are an important part of the diet of chinstrap penguins, as well as fish, seals and other types of birds. Amphipods resemble shrimp, although they do not have a hard outer covering over their thorax like many other crustaceans.

There are 17 species of penguins that survive on a variety of seafood throughout the ocean. Their diets are typically determined by the types of seafood that are available during each season.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do emperor penguins eat?

    A:

    The emperor penguin's typical diet consists of fish, krill, squid and crustaceans, though the actual composition of their diet varies from population to population. Fish is the most important food source for emperor penguins, with the Antarctic silverfish accounting for most of the penguin's diet.

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  • Q:

    What do macaroni penguins eat?

    A:

    Macaroni penguins eat mostly krill, supplemented by some squid and small amounts of fish and flat-bodied crustaceans. Some populations migrate long distances to the Indian Ocean to take advantage of large krill and crustacean populations there. During the breeding season, macaroni penguins fast for up to 40 days.

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  • Q:

    How many types of penguins are there?

    A:

    There are 17 species of penguins found worldwide. From the Galapagos of the tropical Galapagos Islands to the emperor of Antarctica, penguins are found on every continent of the Southern Hemisphere.

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  • Q:

    What do humpback whales eat?

    A:

    Humpback whales typically eat a wide variety of small seafood, including krill, sardines, mackerel, anchovies and other small fish that live in schools. Because humpback whales eat small sea life, they must consume a large amount, which they do by releasing air from their blow holes to funnel fish into a spiral "air cage" to be eaten.

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