Q:

How do penguins breathe underwater?

A:

Quick Answer

Penguins are not able to breathe underwater; however, all 17 of the penguin species can hold their breath for as long as 15 minutes. This amazing capability allows them to dive deep within the ocean to find food.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Many penguin species are also fast at getting into the water because they do not want prey to be able to catch them. The Adelie penguins can accelerate from 0 to 16 mph, according to the Tennessee Aquarium, which helps them avoid the slow 4-mph swimming of the leopard seal.

Penguins also have a black and white color combination. The white is found on the stomach and sometimes on choice areas of the penguin's face. The reason for this particular black and white color combination is because the penguin has evolved to protect itself. The black color is what is seen from above, which helps the penguin blend into dark water. The white color is what is seen from below, which helps the penguin blend into the light sky as it swims or sits on an ice patch.

Penguins are also able to swim in different ways while they hold their breath. They can waddle or hop on land as well as slide on the ice with their stomach. In the water, they can swim close to the surface or dive below in what is often called "flying." They also can swim like the dolphins do by popping their head up out of the water or by making little jumps.

Learn more about Marine Life

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How much do penguins weigh?

    A:

    Penguins weigh from 2 to 90 pounds depending on the species of penguin and the stage of the breeding cycle. Little blue penguins, found only near Australia and New Zealand, are the smallest and weigh 2 or 3 pounds.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do penguins live in the wild?

    A:

    Although all penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere, not every species of penguin lives in Antarctica. Several species exist in sub-zero climates, while others live in locations with temperatures regularly above 100 F. Generally, penguins become larger the farther south they live, according to PBS television show "Nature."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do penguins eat?

    A:

    Penguins generally eat fish, squid and krill, though their diet depends on the species. Generally, penguins living close to the equator eat more fish, while penguins in arctic climates rely on squid and krill for sustenance.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do penguins live?

    A:

    All known species of penguins live naturally in the southern hemisphere of the world. They actually occupy habitats which are located on each of the five continents within the southern hemisphere.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore