It is a type of waterfowl that is unable to fly, and this type of bird often lives in the southern hemisphere, but one type of these birds lives north of the equator and is the Galapagos penguin, where this type of bird is highly adapted to water, Its body is covered with feathers so that it consists of two dark colours, which is predominant in addition to white, and has wings that are as close to the fins as possible.
Most of these birds feed on fish, squid and other forms of marine life that they catch underwater, and the penguin spends half its life on land and the other half In the sea, and in this article we will explain more about this type of bird.
Where does the penguin live?
Penguins are famous for living in the frozen tundra of Antarctica, but out of the 18 species of penguin in the world, only two live on the southernmost continent; Penguins live on every continent in the Southern Hemisphere, from Australia to Africa, and can be found on the coasts of South America.
They can be found on small, rocky islands far in the sea, while species farther north, such as the Galapagos penguin, live near the equator in the Galapagos.
Penguins are only found in the Southern Hemisphere, mostly concentrated on the coasts of Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands. .
It is the southernmost continent, largely uninhabited, and almost entirely covered in ice. It is also the tallest, driest and coldest continent, and the most populous of penguins, with over five million breeding pairs.
However, only two species, the emperor and the Adélie penguins, make Antarctica their year-round home, in the meantime.
Chinstrap, macaroni, and gentoo penguins spend some time on the Antarctic Peninsula, but breed in Antarctica and the Antarctic sub-islands in the north.
Although the Antarctic winters are very cold, emperor penguins breed and lay eggs on the sea ice with the onset of winter, and male penguins are tasked with incubating eggs in these harsh conditions, giving up food for up to four months
Research published in 2020, indicates that the ancient ancestors of penguins actually originated in Australia and New Zealand.
In modern times, the smallest species of penguin still makes Australia its home, while Australia is generally known for its hot and dry climate.
The southern coast has cool waters and a mild climate that allows small penguins to thrive. They live along the coast of the mainland, but the largest populations are found on remote islands, such as Phillip Island, where it contains a colony of about 32,000 people.
Argentina is a country in South America, occupying most of the southern part of the continent.
The extended coastlines and cool waters of the South Pacific support large numbers of Magellanic penguins, a medium-sized species with white stripes on their heads and across their chests.
On the Atlantic coast in Chubut Province, Punta Tombo is home to more than 200,000 breeding pairs.
It is a remote archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 480 km east of Patagonia in South America.
It is a chain of rugged islands with sandy beaches and coastlines lined with cliffs and is home to only 3,500 people. It is a veritable capital of the penguin world, five species of which nest in the islands: Magellan, RockHopper, Gentoo, King, and Macaroni.
With a total population of about one million, the islands are home to the largest population of gentoo penguins in the world.
The birds nest three miles off the coast and form penguin highways as they travel back and forth from the ocean to feed.
While the numbers of penguins around the world are declining, the number of gentoo penguins in the Falkland Islands has increased dramatically over the past 25 years.
It is a chain of volcanic islands off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, in which one species of penguin lives, the Galapagos penguins, and the islands extend along the equator, making these penguins the only species living in the northern hemisphere.
This tiny penguin, reaching only 50 cm in height, is able to crawl into caves and crevices along the rocky coast, avoiding the tropical heat on land.
From Antarctica to the west coast of South America, the Humboldt Current brings cold waters and populations of fish that can sustain penguins, despite its northern latitude, with nearly 600 breeding pairs remaining in the wild.
The Galapagos penguin is a threatened species.
Tristan da Cunha Islands
It is a small island chain of dormant volcanoes in the South Atlantic Ocean. More than 1,600 km separate the archipelago from its closest continental neighbours (South America and Africa), and although the islands are small, they are important nesting sites for northern penguins. With an area of just 13 square kilometres, it is home to approximately 27,000 penguins.
These numbers indicate a sharp decline since the 1950s, when some islands in the South Atlantic hosted more than a million birds. The species is now threatened with extinction, and researchers believe the decline in numbers is largely due to rising ocean temperatures and declining prey.
New Zealand is home to four species of penguins that thrive in the cold currents of the Southern Ocean: baby, snare, yellow-eyed, and crested penguins.
Penguins can be found along the coast in New Zealand’s South Island, as well as on small, remote islands in the south. The endangered yellow-eyed penguin is the largest of New Zealand’s penguins, but also the rarest, with an estimated 4,000 penguins.
South Africa has recently become a home for penguins.
For most of its history, the African penguin has been restricted to living on different islands along the southern coast of Africa, from Angola to Mozambique in the 1980s. Two colonies have been established on the shores of the mainland near Cape Town.
The researchers decided that these mainland colonies could thrive now, because increased human numbers reduced the number of predators that would have wiped out the penguin colony.
However, the African penguin population across its entire range has declined rapidly since the 1920s, and this species is now threatened with extinction.
Symmetrical Islands and Bounty
The Bounty and Antipodes are two remote island chains deep in the South Pacific Ocean, both located more than 650 km southeast of New Zealand, and are the only breeding grounds for erect penguins.
These penguins are among the least researched, and little is known about their migration patterns. They have been observed arriving on the islands in September, staying there to breed and raising their young until February, after which they return to the sea until the following September.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
It is a steep mountainous chain of islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. It has no permanent inhabitants. In the early twentieth century, there were outposts on the islands used by whalers, but they have since disappeared.
In modern times, it is known as the breeding grounds for large colonies of penguins, including macaroni, king, and chin penguins.
One of six species of crested penguins, the Macaroni penguin gets its name thanks to its yellow, pasta-like feathers, and they usually congregate in large, dense breeding colonies of more than 100,000 birds in total. There are more than one million breeding pairs of Macaroni penguins on the islands. .