A Guide to Penguins

Sun 13th November

Everything you need to know about Penguins!

Paradise Wildlife Park is home to the Penguin, one of the most celebrated animals on the planet! Find out more about Penguins in our guide.

What type of animal is a Penguin?

Penguins are a group of aquatic flightless seabirds, comprising 18 different species. The penguin is part of the Spheniscidae family.


How many species of Penguin are there?

The 18 species of penguin are:

.• Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri)

  • King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonica)
  • Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua)
  • Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)
  • Chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus)
  • Royal penguin (Eudyptes schlegeli)
  • Northern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi)
  • Southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocom)
  • Macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus)
  • Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)
  • Fiordland crested penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus)
  • African penguin (Spheniscus demersus)
  • Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus)
  • Erect-crested penguin (Eudyptes sclateri)
  • Snares Island penguin (Eudyptes robustus)
  • Yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes)
  • Fairy penguin (Eudyptula minor)
  • Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)


How fast can a Penguin swim?

The fastest species of penguin is the Gentoo that can swim up to 22 mph!


How long can a Penguin hold its breath?

The Emperor Penguin can hold their breath for over 20 minutes with smaller species being able to hold their breath for 3-5 minutes.


How has the African Penguin adapted to its environment?

With a number of species of penguin living in cold climates it’s important that they are able to survive the difficult winters. Because of this, their bodies have adapted amazingly well to provide this level of safety. For example, although they are flightless birds they are excellent swimmers due to their webbed feet and streamlined bodies. Their wings are also shaped like flippers to help reach such fast speeds under the water.

To stay warm their bodies have very thick skin and lots of fat (also known as blubber!) and although many species of penguin live in warmer climates they will still swim in cold waters and so this blubber comes in very useful! To keep temperatures up as a group penguins will huddle together in large numbers. Lastly, the black feathers of the penguin allow them to better absorb the sun’s heat.


What does a Penguin eat?

As a carnivorous species, the penguin’s favourite choice of food is seafood (no surprises there!) including fish, crustaceans and shrimp. Smaller penguins usually feed on krill and squid. The diet of each species can vary slightly.


How to adopt a Penguin?

If you love penguins as much as we do and want to help our conservation efforts you can adopt a penguin today with Paradise Wildlife Park. Our adoption packages are perfect as a treat to yourself or as a gift for a friend or family member.


What is a baby Penguin called?

Chicks or nestlings are the correct names for baby penguins, however chick is the commonly used term.


What is the lifespan of a Penguin?

Penguins in the wild live for 15-20 years on average. However, this can vary depending on the species.


Where do Penguins live?

They live almost entirely below the equator ranging from in and around Antarctica to the Galapagos islands as well as South America, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.


What is the scientific name for the Penguin?

Spheniscidae is the scientific family name for the penguin.


Does the Penguin have any predators?

On land the penguin has do not have many predators. However, in the water the penguin has a number of predators including sharks, seals and orca whales.


What is the smallest species of Penguin?

The Fairy penguin, also known as Little Blue, is the smallest species.


How much does a Penguin weigh?

This depends on the species of penguin, but the weight of an average penguin can vary from 2lbs (Fairy penguin) up to 90lbs (Emperor penguin).



Want to get up close and personal with the Paradise Wildlife Park penguins? Book a penguin feeding experience today and enjoy our penguins for yourself!



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