Q:

How many types of penguins are there?

A:

Quick Answer

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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Full Answer

The flightless birds spend as much as 75 percent of their time in the water, feeding mainly on fish, squid and krill close to the water surface. At just 16 inches and 2.2 pounds, the blue penguin is the smallest species, while the emperor may reach up to 3.7 feet tall and 60 to 90 pounds. The most common species is the Macaroni penguin, while the endangered Galapagos is the least found.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How large are penguins?

    A:

    Penguin sizes range from the largest penguin species, which can be as tall as 45 inches and weigh as much as 60 to 90 pounds, to the smallest penguin, which only reaches 12 inches in height and weighs 2 to 3 pounds. There are varying species in between at differing heights and weights.

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  • Q:

    Why are penguins black and white?

    A:

    Penguins are black and white because those color patterns protect them from predators in a natural phenomenon called countershading. Penguins, like some other animals, have coats with unique colors that keep them safe from predators above and below the water while they swim. The darker black colors on penguins' backs blend in with surrounding ocean waters, protecting them from predators in the sky while white feathers along their undersides hide them from animals below the surface.

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  • 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."

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  • 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.

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