Each penguin has its own voice. Penguins have distinctive calls that can be recognized by their mates and offspring. A King Penguin can pick out its chick from a group of thousands by listening for the chick's unique voice.
Penguins do not live at the North Pole. However, some do populate chilly Antarctica. Most species of penguins are native to the Southern Hemisphere, and some can even be found in tropical locations near the equator.
The penguin’s tuxedo-like appearance is great camouflage. It helps the birds go unnoticed in their natural habitat. Their black backs blend in well with dark shades of water when the birds are viewed from above and their white bellies blend in with the light from the surface when they are viewed from below.
The penguin is probably one of the most recognized, popular birds in the world. Who isn’t familiar with the cute, tuxedo-clad characters? Who doesn’t enjoy their comical upright waddle and the way they toboggan across the ice on their bellies?
Indeed, penguins are a “fan favorite.” They can be found in zoos, aquariums, and marine theme parks across the globe. They have starred in countless books, cartoons, movies, and documentaries.
As well-acquainted as you may be with penguins, here are a few things you might not know about them.
Penguins can drink salt water. They are able to filter salt from their bloodstream via specialized nasal glands.
The Kingdom of Norway formally knighted a penguin. His name is “Nils Olav.” The resident of a popular zoo was originally given the title of "lance corporal" in the early 1970s. The original Nils died in the 1980s. Over the years, he has been replaced with other penguins who have been given the same the name and continued the recognition bestowed upon their predecessor. In 2008, the existing Nils was knighted with the touch of a sword on each side of his head.
Many penguins are monogamous. Some mate for life. Others remain with one mate for a full season and then mate solely with another penguin the next season.
Penguins help each other stay warm. Emperor Penguins deal with the harsh elements in Antarctica byhuddling together in groups. They each alternate between standing in the center of the group to warm up and moving to the outside of the group to offer protection to their friends.
Some penguins propose to their life-long mates with a pebble. The male presents a specially chosen pebble to the female as a token of his love. If she decides to accept the male as her mate, the female will place the pebble on her nest.