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Penguins

Penguins

Name : Penguin
Found : In the southern half of the world, many on the mainland and islands of Antarctica.
Eats : Fish, squid and Crustaceans
Variety : There are 18 species of Penguin (e.g. Macaroni, Emperor, King, Adelie, Fairy or Little, Chinstrap, Jackass, Gentoo, Royal, Yellow-Eyed and Rockhopper).
Family : Spheniscidae

Penguins webpage from the British Antarctic Survey.

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Flippers

The Wings are paddle-like flippers. The bones are more flattened and broadened with the joint of the elbow and wrist almost fused together, with strong ligaments. This forms a rigid, tapered and flat flipper which is excellent for swimming. More information on the Feathers.

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Head

Penguins have different patterns of head feathers depending on what species they are. More information on the Eyes

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Eyes

Different species have different coloured eyes.

  • Many species have brown, reddish brown or golden-brown eyes.
  • Rockhopper and Macaroni Penguins have red eyes.
  • Fairy (or Little Blue) Penguins have bluish-grey eyes.
  • As their name implies, Yellow-Eyed Penguins have yellow eyes.

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Bill

Penguins have a variety of bill shapes which are used to capture fish, squid and Crustaceans. Generally the bill tends to be long and thin in species that are mainly squid and fish eaters, but shorter and stouter in the ones that eat mainly krill.

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Legs And Feet

The legs are short and strong. The feet are 3-toed, webbed and have strong claws. The legs are quite far back in the body, so they can stand upright, and are streamlined when they swim.

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Feathers

Shiny feathers overlap to cover the penguin's skin. The feathers are short, broad and closely spaced helping to keep water away from the skin. Penguins have more feathers than other birds with about 70 feathers per square inch. Every year most penguin species moult (lose all their feathers) usually after the breeding season. Moulting is essential as feathers wear out during the year. The new feathers grow under the old ones pushing the old ones out. More information on the Tail.

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Tail

The tail is short and wedge-shaped, with 14 to 18 stiff feathers.

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Designed by Roland Warren, Saffron Walden County High School on 20 January 1998
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