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20 Fun Facts About Penguins We Didn’t Learn in Biology Class

Few of us are lucky enough to see these clumsy tuxedo-wearing birds in nature, and it’s probably hard to find someone who doesn't dream of seeing penguin parents with their cute little chicks waddling across the cold blue ice. Thanks to wildlife photographers and travelers, we can peek into the lives of these creatures through their photos all year round, no matter where we live.

Here at Bright Side, we’ve picked 20 penguin photos and topped them off with fun facts to let you know a bit more about these amazing animals.

1. The majority of these seabirds, including emperor and gentoo penguins, live in Antarctica, though some species can be found in warmer places.

2. Black and white bodies help penguins protect themselves from predators when they swim.

3. They spend most of their lives swimming and can do so at the speed of 15 miles per hour.

4. Some penguins prefer to travel long distances by sliding on their bellies across the ice and pushing themselves with their feet.

5. Penguins have glands that help them filter the salty ocean water that they drink.

6. These birds can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes under water.

7. Like many other bird species, penguins don’t have teeth.

8. Penguins are carnivores and they eat fish, squid, crabs, and other sea animals.

9. Penguins’ bodies produce special oil that makes their feathers waterproof.

10. There are periods when penguins completely lose their feathers and regrow them. This is called “molting.”

11. Many penguin species live in large colonies that can range from hundreds to thousands of birds.

12. The majority of penguins stay with one partner for many years.

13. Penguins usually lay 1 or 2 eggs at a time, and both the mother and father take turns keeping the eggs warm.

14. Penguins pant to cool themselves just like dogs do.

15. These birds have solid bones with no air inside which helps them dive.

16. When it’s too cold, penguins cuddle together in large groups to warm themselves.

17. During mating season, gentoo penguins present pebbles to females as part of courtship.

18. The largest weighing penguins are emperor penguins, and they can weigh up to 90 lb (41 kg).

19. The little penguins are the smallest, and they weigh about 2.2 lb (1 kg).

20. Penguins actually have knees but they’re hidden under the feathers and it makes them look short-legged.

Which of the penguin facts we’ve just shared surprised you the most? Have you ever seen penguins in nature? If you have pictures of these amazing animals, please show them to us in the comments!