Q:

Where can penguins be purchased?

A:

Because penguins are an endangered species, the U.S. (and many other countries) have strict laws regarding importation, sale and ownership. It's generally prohibited for private parties to own penguins.

There are certain places in the world where penguin ownership is permitted, but specific permits or licenses are required. Even with these permits and licenses, only four types of penguins may be kept as pets. These are fairy penguins, wingless fairy penguins, emperor penguins and African penguins.

Fairy penguins are typically about 34 centimeters in height, weigh approximately 3 pounds and are a bluish color. They enjoy swimming most of the day. Wingless fairy penguins are similar to fairy penguins except their flippers have been cut, so they prefer to spend their time on land. Emperor penguins are larger at about 125 centimeters in height and weigh between 22 and 45 kg. They only live in extremely cold environments. African penguins are tall (about 3.3 meters) penguins that prefer to live under rocks. They are the rarest and most expensive breed.

An alternative to penguin ownership is adoption. Many zoos and charities, such as the World Wildlife Fund, offer programs that allow penguin enthusiasts to symbolically "adopt" a penguin in exchange for a donation.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How big are penguins?

    A:

    Adult emperor penguins, the largest penguin species, stand at an average of 45 inches in height and weigh 88 pounds. These flightless birds are exclusive to the Antarctic ice and surrounding waters.

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  • Q:

    How long can penguins stay underwater?

    A:

    According to information from the Antarctica government, the Emperor penguin is capable of a 22-minute underwater stay, up to a depth of 984 feet. The length of a typical stay is three to six minutes.

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  • Q:

    What is a group of penguins called?

    A:

    The name for a group of penguins varies based on whether the penguins being described are on land or at sea. "Rookery," "waddle" or "colony" are all three terms that are used in reference to a group of penguins on land, while a group of penguins floating at sea is referred to as a "raft."

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  • Q:

    How do penguins reproduce?

    A:

    Penguins reproduce as most birds do, with internal fertilization that is accomplished by putting each penguin's cloacas together. The male sprays sperm into the female's cloaca where it can then travel inside and fertilize eggs.

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