Penguin Facts for Kids

A Picture of some Penguins
  • Name: Penguin
  • Lifespan: 6 to 20 years
  • Diet: Meat (carnivore)
  • Range: Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Europe and South America
  • Length: Between 16 inches and 3.7 feet
  • Weight: Between 2 and 77 pounds

15 Penguin Facts for Kids

  1. Penguins are aquatic birds that are flightless and belong to the Spheniscidae family.
  2. There are 17 species of living penguins on our planet.
  3. Only a few species of penguins live in Antarctica. Penguins live on every continent in the Southern Hemisphere. The galapagos penguin lives near the equator on the Galapagos Islands.
  4. Both the male and female of a penguin breeding pair will care for their young.
  5. All species of penguins are carnivorous. Their diet includes small fish, squid, tiny crustaceans and other sea life.
  6. Larger penguins live in cooler climates, while smaller penguins live in warmer climates.
  7. The largest penguin species is the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri). The emperor penguin can get as tall as 4 feet (1.22 meters) and weigh up to 99 pounds (44.9 kilograms).
  8. The smallest penguin species is the little penguin (Eudyptula minor). The little penguin can get as tall as 16 inches (33 centimeters) and weigh up to 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram).
  9. The fastest swimming penguin is the gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua). It can reach swimming speeds up to 22 mph (19 knots).
  10. Common predators that eat penguins are seals, sharks and orcas.
  11. A raft is a group of penguins in the water.
  12. A waddle is a group of penguins on land.
  13. Penguin species that are considered endangered (EN) by the IUCN are the african penguin, erect-crested penguin, galapagos penguin, northern rockhopper penguin and the yellow-eyed penguin.
  14. Penguin species that are considered vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN are the fiordland penguin, humboldt penguin, macaroni penguin, royal penguin, snares penguin and the southern rockhopper penguin.
  15. The only species of penguins that is considered a least concern (LC) by the IUCN is the chinstrap penguin.

Additional Resources on Penguins