10 fun facts about penguins

10 fun facts about penguins

Penguins are fascinating, funny and entertaining, and as well as Humboldt, Birdland is home to England’s only colony of King Penguins. We thought we’d share these top 10 fun facts about our fuzzy friends.  See how many you already know?

  • The name penguin may have come from the Welsh words Pen and Gwyn meaning͚ white head or similar in the Cornish language. The name was originally applied to the great auk (now extinct) by early travellers.
  • The largest species of penguin is the emperor penguin, weighing up to 45kg, while the smallest species is appropriately named little penguin, weighing just 2kg.
  • All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. But most do not live in Antarctica. In fact, only two species actually live on the Antarctic coastline – the emperor and the adélie. There are penguins in and around Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
  • The Humboldt penguin (one of our residents here at Birdland Park) is named after explorer Alexander von Humboldt, who discovered an ocean current that runs along South Americas west coast, the penguins that lived along the currents line share the same name.
  • Penguins lose heat through their feet and flippers – in high-temperature areas such as South Africa, penguins have developed larger flippers and bare areas on their faces to help them keep cool.
  • King penguins (like the ones here at Birdland) are among the most brightly coloured of all species.
  • The rarest penguin is the yellow-eyed penguin, with the majority of these in and around New Zealand and surrounding islands. There are estimated to be only 2,000 breeding pairs of these penguins in the wild.
  • As they cannot fly penguins do not have hollow, weight-saving, skeletons like most birds. Their denser bones allow them to swim fast – some species can reach 22mph!
  • Penguins eat a variety of small seafood such as fish and squid, they have a special gland which filters salt from their bloodstream – they get rid of excess salt by sneezing.
  • Humboldt penguins can blush! As well as their black and white colouring they have bare areas ofskin  around their faces and under their wings which helps them control their temperature. When blood rushes to these areas it looks like they are turning red.

Book your Birdland tickets here and enjoy one of our daily penguin feeds, where you can see them tuck into what they love most, with an informative and fun explanation from one of our Birdland Park experts

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