Awe-ducational: The Penguin

The penguin is a flightless bird that is most often associated with icy Antartica. However, penguins are found all throughout the southern hemisphere. The Galapagos penguin can be found sharing tropical waters with turtles and sharks. Penguins are shaped like bowling pins and have a distinctive light belly and dark back. Their coloring acts as a camouflage for the penguin while swimming.


There are 17 different species of penguins and they come in all sizes. The largest being the emperor penguin, which can weigh up to 84 pounds. The smallest, known as little blue or fairy penguin, weighing only two and a half pounds. A penguin's diet comes from the sea. Some penguins eat small fish like sardines, others eat krill (a shrimp like animal), while others eat squid.

Though slow and clumsy on land penguins are quick and graceful in the water. Penguins spend much of their lives at sea, often staying in the water for many months at a time. When swimming, penguins flap their wings to propel themselves, and use their feet to steer. A penguin can swim about six times faster than a human.


A mother penguin will lay one or two eggs at a time. Both the mother and father will take turns caring for the egg. When a baby penguin is born it is covered in down, and in time it will grow its famous black and white fathers like its parents. Penguins live in large groups called colonies. To communicate, penguins use a combination of motions and calls. Each penguin’s call is unique, which helps its family find them in a crowd.


If you want to learn more about penguins, you can visit the juvenile non-fiction section at the Auburn Hills Public Library. Below are some books that you can check out on the topic.

Penguins by Valerie Bodden Penguins by Rachael Hanel The World of Penguins by Evelyne Daigle Growing Up Wild Penguins by Sandra Markle