Types of penguins
If you are a penguin lover and even not everyone loves to know about these creatures and for that purpose, it is important to learn about the types of “penguins”. Penguins are flightless birds that are not flyers but great swimmers. They have evolved with the time to be a creature of water and not of the air. These features make them more intriguing to study and explore. So, let’s get into the article and learn about the types of penguins.
Types of penguins in Australia
A total of eighteen species are present og penguins all over the globe and surprisingly Australia is home to eight species of penguins. Australia is full of diverse habitats which makes it easier for the penguins to inhabit.
The range of penguins in Australia, starts from the Philip islands to the coast of eastern Antarctica. The species which I am going to mention in the below sections are specialties of Australian island and they breed on subantarctic lands of Australia. However, Australia is not bound to these eight types of penguins only. Other species may pop on the ocean coasts.
Places in Australia to find penguins:
- Macquarie Island: It is an island free of ice, a sub-antarctic island. This island is present in the south of Tasmania.
- Mcdonalds and Herd Island: These islands are present in the south-west of Perth almost forty thousand kilometers. Islands surround the southern Indian Ocean, with the presence of volcanoes and glaciers.
- The territory of Antarctic-Australia: It covers a great portion of Eastern Antarctica. The Divisions of Mawsons, Casey, and Davis are present along the dividing line.
The eight species which are extensively present in Australia are:
King penguins are the second biggest penguins after Emperor penguins. However, King penguins are more noticeable because of they yellow patches around their eyes in the form of patches.
In Australia, King penguins are present on McDonald’s, Herd, and Macquire islands. Like all other penguins, these penguins also live in colonies.
King penguins have a very extensive breeding or life cycle which lasts for sixteen months. These penguins live in areas free of ice where they breed and molt.
Like their cousins, King penguins also breed their young ones on their legs and feet. Once the babies are grown enough they form a “Down” of thick brown feathers.
At this stage, the penguins look extremely opposite from their parents. As a result of this, the early explorers of Europe and Australia called them “Wool penguins”.
These penguins are inhabitants of Macquarie islands. They ate fluffy, chubby, and super cute. Royal penguins have vivid colors as their beaks are not black, they are yellow, and they also bear yellow crests.
Royal penguins lay two eggs, and usually only one survives. The chicks hatch in the season of February, they take time to mature and they are fully grown in March. Adults spend their time at sea where they moly and travel to the shores.
The numbers of royal penguins are decreasing as the people hunt them for oil. As they breed only on Macquarie islands, the royal penguins are at the risks of endangerment.
Royal penguins are closely related to macaroni penguins. However, they are recognizable by their faces. The macaroni penguins have black and white faces overall. On the other hand, the royal penguins have a white face and chins.
Eastern rockhopper penguin:
As their name suggests, the rockhoppers are popular for their excellent abilities to pass the rocky surfaces. They are more of Olympic penguins. Though they are small-sized they are still able to perform such stunts and they are very fast penguins as well.
Eastern Rockhoppers are present on Macquarie, Heard and McDonald’s islands. These penguins have faced a lot of threats in recent years, mainly due to habitat destruction and the loss of food availability.
Anyone can identify these penguins by their orange bills and white eye patches. They have orangey-peachy feet and a fan-like tail. Gentoo penguins confirm their presence with their loud noises.
On the sea, these penguins are famous for their agility. Gentoo penguins have maximum speeds in water almost thirty-six kilometers per hour.
Gentoos also make colonies when they breed but they form nests with the help of pebbles. Pebbles are like possessions, they also attract females with the most beautiful pebble.
Gentoo penguins are strictly monogamous, and even these little creatures do not bear cheating. Any penguin found cheating is expelled from the colony.
These penguins are closely related to their royal penguins. They can be differentiated by their facial color. Macaroni penguins have black-colored faces while on the other hand, Royal penguins have white-colored faces.
Similar to many penguins, macaroni penguins spend most of their time on the sea. However, when they leave the shore they engage in preening and head bobbing. They are caretaker dads and spend their time at homes taking care of the young ones.
Macaroni penguins inhabit the Heard and MacDonald’s islands. Though macaroni penguins are one of the prominent species of the penguins their population is decreasing. Climate change, habitat destruction, and loss of food are the main factors that are responsible for their decreasing numbers.
Adelie penguins primarily inhabit the Australian and Antarctic territory. Though Adelie penguins are excellent swimmers they are also able to walk great distances.
These penguins are traditional kinds of penguins. Their backs and feet are black while their chests are white. When winters approach, these penguins migrate to the edges so that they can do ice fishing. Their main diet is krill.
Emperor penguins are the most astonishing among all penguins. They breed during extreme winter conditions along with the Australian Antarctic territory.
They are popular for nurturing their young ones in the harshest climate and conditions. Emperor penguins have specialized feathers that help them in insulating.
Emperor penguins eat a lot of food to survive. They have to eat almost six kilograms per day. These penguins are also famous for deep diving. Due to global warming and melting polar caps, the habitat of the Emperor penguins is decreasing soundly.
Types of penguins that can fly
Penguins belong to the class Aves, and therefore scientifically they are birds that cannot fly. There are no such types of penguins that have the ability to fly even for short distances. They have more tapered and flat wings that resemble flippers. Penguins use them for swimming and balancing themselves while walking.
Types of penguins and where they live
There are almost seventeen different types of penguins present in the world but the most prominent of them are present in Antarctica. You can also spot penguins in the areas that surround Antarctica and their sub-regions like south Georgia and the Falklands.
Eight penguin species are the most important ones and their habitat is as:
- Emperor and Adelie penguins: Antarctic continent
- Chinstrap, Macaroni, and Gentoo: Northern Antarctica and subantarctic Islands.
- Rockhoppers, Megallanics, and King penguins: found majorly in the Sub-antarctic regions.
Types of penguins in Falklands
Many people believe that penguins only live in polar regions. Well, that is not true, penguins are able to survive in many diverse habitats. Falklands are incredible islands present in the Southerner Atlantic. These islands are home to five species of penguins.
- Gentoo penguins
- King penguin
- Magellanic penguin
- Southern rockhopper penguin
- Macaroni penguin
Falkland’s island seashores provide a home to the largest population of the gentoo penguins. These penguins are Seventy-six centimeters in length. One can easily identify them by the white band that is present on their heads and on their orange beaks. Gentoo penguins are great swimmers and are super agile.
In 1971, there were only thirty-one pairs of King penguins in the Falklands Islands. But now this colony has become a population of fifteen hundred King penguins, being the second-largest and easily reachable King penguin colony in the world.
These penguins have beautiful orange/yellow colors on their chests and bills. King penguins are loud and they attract mates by their noisy calls.
On Pebble island, you may find several holes in the ground. Suddenly ahead comes out of one of the holes and that’s it, you acknowledged a Magellanic penguin.
These penguins are shy and therefore they live in deep burrows. Though Magellanic penguins are small they swim excellently. They migrate to the Atlantic ocean and come back to their burrows in September.
These penguins hop with both of their feet on the rocks. Penguin is easily recognizable by the spikes. Rockhopper penguins breed in October. The parents feed regurgitated food to their young ones.
On the Falkland Islands, these penguins are the rarest ones. They are usually present along with rockhopper penguins. They do resemble Rockhoppers because both of the species have spikey crests.
However, the crests of Macaroni penguins are more yellow, and their bodies are bulkier. Some scientists say that Macaroni penguins breed with the Rockhopper penguins creating a new Hybrid species.
4 types of Arctic penguins
The most prominent Arctic penguins are:
- Emperor penguins
- Adelie penguins
- Gentoo penguins
- Chinstrap penguins