Quick: Name three things you know about penguins. We’ll wait. *Jeopardy! theme music plays* If all you came up with was, 1. They’re black and white; 2. They waddle; 3. They eat fish, then congrats! You really know basically nothing all about penguins.
Luckily, today is officially Penguin Awareness Day and we are here to school your butt with some insane penguin factoids. Hopefully this exercise will not only raise your awareness of penguins, but also boost your appreciation, so that this time next year, you’ll be the one challenging arctic bird n00bs to a bit of pengu-insanity!
1. The smallest penguin is the Little Blue Penguin, who is only 16 inches tall and two pounds!
2. Even though they’re black and white, their fur is actually camouflage: When viewed from above, the black on their backs blends into the dark blue of the ocean; when viewed from below, the white on their bellies blends into the bright white of the sky.
3. Male Emperor penguins incubate their eggs for two months without eating. As such, pudgy penguins are considered the best mates.
4. Penguins swallow salt water when eating fish, but they expel it from their systems by sneezing.
5. Most species of penguin mate for life!
6. Similarly, most species also colonize for life, always returning to their original home.
7. Penguins have no predators on land, therefore they’re not scared of humans.
8. Most penguins can hold their breath for six minutes — although some can hold it for up to twenty minutes!
9. Penguins pant like dogs when they’re overheated.
10. When penguins slide on their bellies over ice and snow (known as “tobogganing”), it might be for travel, but usually, it’s just for funsies!
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