Baby Penguins

Penguins are a group of flightless birds found only in the southern hemisphere. They are of the order Sphenisciformes and the family Spheniscidae. There are seventeen species of penguins in the world, the largest of which is the Empire penguin, which stands at an average height of 3 feet and 9 inches. Most people think that penguins live only in the coldest places on Earth like Antarctica, but penguins also live in the tropics. A species of penguins live in the Galapagos Islands near the equator.

Penguins are some of the most familiar animals in the planet, although most people have never seen a penguin in the wild. But most people recognize penguins because of the distinct and easily identifiable black-and-white plumage that all penguins have. Penguins, in their natural habitat, are extremely adapted to the aquatic life. The sea is their main source of food, which consists of fish and small crustaceans called krill.

Penguins have a peculiar mating habit; some penguins will mate for life, while others for just one season. Penguin parents usually cooperate in taking care of their baby penguins. But it is mostly the task of the male penguin to incubate the egg until it is hatched. It is amazing how penguins take care of their offspring in the extreme cold and harshness of their habitat. Baby penguins are hatched covered with a grayish down that protects the chicks from the cold.

Throughout the nesting period, baby penguins are confined to the burrow or nest where they are fed by their parents. When baby penguins reach the age where they don’t need constant care from their parents, they are often grouped in nurseries where they wait while their parents hunt for food. One amazing trait of both parent and baby penguins is that they recognize each other even in the midst of hundreds of penguins. Once the baby penguin sheds its downy feathers and gets its plumage, it can then start to fend for himself.

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