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Examining the Various Types of Penguins

April 22nd, 2013 Inspirational

Whether you love cute animals or you simply can't get enough of penguins, there's an ample amount of information to be learned about these creatures. You might picture them floating on a piece of ice in the Arctic, but many species of penguins don't live in cold regions - some enjoy the warm weather just as much as we do! Here are some of the most intriguing varieties of penguins, as well as how they differ from each other. You'll be surprised to learn that not all of these black-and-white birds share the same appetites and climates.

African penguin
The African penguin is one of the most endangered varieties today, according to Penguin World. Since the beginning of the 20th century, African penguins have been threatened by numerous oil spills, which have given them little room to thrive. These animals mainly reside in South Africa, but have been seen breeding in Namibia as well. The penguins are black and white, with a majority of their white color located on the belly. They prefer to burrow into rocks for comfort and protection from predators.

This type of penguin doesn't migrate - it finds all of its needs in South Africa, where it can happily live off of small fish in the area. The African penguin is a key example of a variety that doesn't need to exist in a chilly climate in order to survive.

Emperor penguin
This variety of penguin is perhaps the most majestic of them all. The Emperor penguin can grow upward of 40 inches tall, and it's one of the largest types of penguins in existence. When individuals think of this bird, the Emperor likely comes to mind. This iconic animal is associated with Antarctica, where it lives and breeds throughout the year. The Emperor penguin feeds on fish and squid in the cold waters surrounding the region.

Because its preferred habitat is Antarctica, the New England Aquarium claims that this animal endures the harshest climate of any other species in the world. While it's coated in black and white, this variety commonly has a bit of yellow around the neck as well.

Galapagos penguin
If you're interested in discovering another type that doesn't reside in frigid regions, the Galapagos penguin is the perfect example. As its name suggests, this variety lives on the Galapagos Islands around the equator, which means it's used to hot temperatures. Unlike the Emperor, the Galapagos penguin is small in size, averaging about 5 pounds. It's also a relatively endangered species, and unless the Galapagos eco-system is preserved, the International Penguin Conservation Work Group claims that it could easily go extinct

This variety has a relatively low amount of food to thrive on in the area, as more man-made obstructions make life difficult for the penguin. Predators that have been introduced to the region, such as dogs and cats, also create challenges for the Galapagos penguin. However, conservation efforts exist to keep the species intact for years to come.

King penguin
Unlike the Galapagos variety, the King penguin isn't as endangered, and its habitat might have something to do with it. Similar to the Emperor penguin, this type enjoys chilly temperatures and primarily resides in Antarctica. They tend to live life in large colonies, partnered up for breeding and raising chicks. King penguins indulge in fish and squid in the local area to survive. Although they like cold weather, they're often found away from floating ice in the wild.

Whether you love small penguins or ones that have more than just two colors, there are numerous species to familiarize yourself with as you pursue your interests.