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5 Facts You Should Know About Penguins


There's a lot to love about our penguin pals—the first being they're always dressed to impress! But did you know there's actually a reason for that fancy-looking coat? World Penguin Day is April 25, so we're diving into the reason behind the fancy feathers, plus other little-known facts. Read on to find out more.

  • The black-and-white tuxedo-style coloring on some penguins helps camouflage to keep them safe from predators in the ocean--it's called countershading. When swimming, the black top coat blends with the darker deep waters, while the white coat underneath reflects the bright ocean floor and water beneath them.
  • We typically think of penguins as residents of the chilly North Pole when, in fact, most all live south of the equator in places such as Antarctica. But some also call warmer climates home, such as Australia and South America. The North Pole is reserved for their much larger cold-weather-loving friends: polar bears.
  • They don't have teeth! But with a fishy a diet, they don't really need them. Instead, penguins have "fleshy spines" on their tongues, which are backward-facing bristles that help keep hold of slippery fish, squid and krill.
  • Drinking saltwater can be dangerous for humans, but penguins have their own filtering system that makes a diet high in saltwater fish easier to digest. The supraorbital gland, located near their eye, filters salt from their bloodstream which is released for the body through their bills or even sneezing!
  • We've all seen pictures of large huddled group of penguins, but there's a name for this pack. A group of penguins is called a colony. And during mating season, the colonies grow to form a rookery, which can consist of tens of thousands of penguins.

But why do penguins not live in the North Pole? Parade columnist Marilyn vos Savant dishes on why it's is a no-go for the penguin crew.

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