If you know who I am, even just a little, then you know just how much I adore penguins. If not, then you know now. This means I have or adore anything with penguins on them; slippers, socks, clothes, decorations, books, stuffed animals, coffee mugs, and more...much, much more. Well, my mother-in-law saw a book on everything penguin, and her first thought was me.
I was looking through this book and it made me realize just how many different types of penguins there are and was. According to this book, there are 17 different types of penguins. I know, that is A LOT, isn't it? I thought so, too. Not only are there 17 different types of penguins, but they range in size from 23 inches tall to 50 inches tall. Not only that but 36 million years ago, there were penguins that were five feet tall. I am only eight inches taller than that!
Penguins says, "Many penguins live in cold seas in the far south of the world. Some land to have chicks on Antarctica and the islands nearby. Other penguins live on the warmer, southern tips of different continents." Some of those warmer continents are the coasts of Australia and New Zealand. So, in layman's terms, there are cold penguins and warm penguins.
Did you know that penguins have about 100 feathers per square inch? *gasp*
Penguins feathers are much like the feathers of a bird, but they are smaller and packed closer together. They overlap like roof singles as a way to keep out the cold air. Now, penguins feathers do wear out, which causes them to molt. For this to happen, they must stay on land until their new and improved feathers grown in; which can take a months time to occur.
After their old feathers have fallen out and their new feathers have grown in, it is time for them to oil their feathers in order to waterproof them. Penguins says, "They use their beaks to spread the oil all over their feathers to make them waterproof." They do this with the special glands near their tails that produce the oil needed.
But that ancient penguin, though. FIVE FEET?!
When penguins want to breed, they often return to the place they were born. This is usually done in the warmer summer months. Did you know that if a penguin egg is left alone for five minutes it will freeze? This is why there must be a parent sitting on the egg at all times for 30 to 68 days until it is ready to hatch.
*falls over in amazement* A Gentoo penguin can swim faster than a human can run. Yes, you read that correctly. A Gentoo penguin can swim at a whopping 22 miles per hour. These penguins stand 34 inches tall and their population is 314,000 pairs as of 2012.