Q:

Do penguins hibernate?

A:

Quick Answer

Penguins do not hibernate during the Antarctic winter; instead, they take advantage of the cold weather to feed and to reproduce. With their layer of blubber, insulating fur and oily coats, penguins are highly adapted to living even in the coldest months of the year.

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Full Answer

Similar to many bird species, some penguin species migrate to their original breeding ground to reproduce and raise their young. Emperor penguins breed annually during the Antarctic winter, living in an environment of half-light or darkness from June through August. Macaroni penguins, on the other hand, travel a long distance from their summer breeding ground and stay within the polar frontal zone to feed in the winter. Unlike emperor penguins, macaroni penguins do not stay together in one group; they disperse into separate groups when they migrate.

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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:

    How do penguins mate?

    A:

    Penguins mate differently depending on the breed, but all penguins mate by following courtship rituals that use their senses of sight and sound as well as a nest site made by the male to attract a partner. Penguins become sexually mature between the ages of 3 and 8 years.

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    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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    How do penguins behave?

    A:

    Defenders of Wildlife explains that penguins are social birds that live together in groups. Although some penguins are known to go hunting for food by themselves, it is much more common to see them swimming and feeding in groups. During the penguins' breeding season, they form large groups known as rookeries. These rookeries usually include thousands of penguins living together.

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