Q:

What do penguins eat?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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What do penguins eat?
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Full Answer

There are five types of penguin diets, which helps reduce competition among species. The great penguin diet, which include king penguins, is made up 80 percent of fish, especially lanternfish. Emperor penguins also eat crustaceans and cephalopods. Brush-tailed penguins, which includes chinstrap and gentoo penguins, eat Antarctic krill, glacial squid and silverfish. Little penguins, which include northern and little blue penguins, feed mainly on squid, fish and small sea animals, and they generally don't dive any deeper than six feet. Crested penguins, such as rockhoppers and royal penguins, dine primarily on krill as well as small aquatic prey such as squid and octopus. Yellow-eyed penguins like to eat cephalopods such as the arrow squid and small fish, whereas banded penguins, such as African and Humboldt penguins, eat sardines, cuttlefish and small crustaceans.

Penguins feed at sea, usually within 50 to 60 feet of the surface, though some penguins will dive as far as 100 feet for their preferred food. Their hunting areas range from nine miles to 559 miles, depending on the species. They have spiny tongues and powerful jaws, which allow them to catch their prey in their bills and swallow them whole.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long do emperor penguins live?

    A:

    Despite the harsh conditions of living in Antarctica, an emperor penguin can generally live for up to 20 years. Recent observations note that some individuals can even live upwards of 50 years.

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  • Q:

    Where are penguins located?

    A:

    Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. Although they are popularly associated with Antarctica, they can also be found in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, South America, and virtually all of the islands located in the Southern Hemisphere.

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  • Q:

    What kind of fish do penguins eat?

    A:

    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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  • 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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