Penguins

Animals

Penguins

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Chinstrap Penguin
Size comparison illustration of a Chinstrap Penguin compared to the height of a person

The Chinstrap Penguin acquires its name from its appearance, a narrow black band of feathers under its head, making it appear as if it were wearing a black helmet. Due to its large harsh call, its other names include ringed penguin, bearded penguin, and stonecracker penguin. The Chinstrap Penguin avoids detection from predators through countershading camouflage with its black back and white underside.  Further, its tightly packed feathers provide a waterproof coat that allow it to swim in freezing waters. The species has a circumpolar distribution, and they breed in Antarctica, Argentina, Bouvet Island, Chile, the Falkand Islands, the Fresh Southern Territories, and South Georgia.

The Chinstrap Penguin has an average height range of 27”-30” (68-76 cm), weight of 7-12 lb (3.2-5.3 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Collection of illustrations of Chinstrap Penguins in multiple positions from standing to walking
The Chinstrap Penguin acquires its name from its appearance, a narrow black band of feathers under its head, making it appear as if it were wearing a black helmet. Due to its large harsh call, its other names include ringed penguin, bearded penguin, and stonecracker penguin.

The Chinstrap Penguin has an average height range of 27”-30” (68-76 cm), weight of 7-12 lb (3.2-5.3 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Collection of illustrations of Chinstrap Penguins in multiple positions from standing to walking
Emperor Penguin
Dimensioned elevation illustration comparing the size of the Emperor Penguin to the standing height of a man

The Emperor Penguin is the largest living penguin species and are characterized by the black feathers on their head and back that sharply contrast with a pale-yellow breast, and bright-yellow ear patches.  The Emperor Penguin is unique to Antarctica, and it is the only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter, trekking 31-75 miles over the ice to breeding colonies. Its diet consists of mostly fish and crustaceans, and while hunting, Emperor Penguins can remain submerged under water for around 20 minutes, diving to a depth of 1755 feet. Contrary to popular belief, emperor penguins are not monogamous, as the fidelity rate among the species is 15%.

The Emperor Penguin has an average height range of 43”-51” (110-130 cm), weight of 49-99 lb (22-45 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Series of illustrations of the Emperor Penguin in a range of standing positions
The Emperor Penguin is the largest penguin species and are characterized by the black feathers on their bodies that sharply contrast with a pale-yellow breast, and yellow ear patches. Unique to Antarctica, the Emperor Penguin is the only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter.

The Emperor Penguin has an average height range of 43”-51” (110-130 cm), weight of 49-99 lb (22-45 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Series of illustrations of the Emperor Penguin in a range of standing positions
Adélie Penguin
Dimensioned elevation drawing of the Adélie Penguin compared to the height of standing man

The Adélie Penguin is named after Adelie Land who was the wife of Jules Dumont d’Urville, the French explorer who discovered the penguin. The Adélie Penguin is the most wide spread and southernly distributed of all penguin species, with its only habitat is along the coast of the Antarctic continent. The species' distinguishing marks are the white ring that surrounds the penguins’ eye and feathers at the base of the bill, and their appearance resembles a tuxedo. Adélie penguins can swim at around five miles per hour, and they can leap 10 feet out of the water to land on rocks or ice.

The Adélie Penguin has an average height range of 18”-28” (46-71 cm), weight of 8-13 lb (3.6-6 kg), and typical lifespan of 11-20 years.

Drawings of Adélie Penguins in an assortment of postures and stances from standing to walking
The Adélie Penguin is named after Adelie Land who was the wife of Jules Dumont d’Urville, the French explorer who discovered the penguin. The species' distinguishing marks are the white ring that around the penguins’ eye and feathers at the base of the bill, and their appearance resembles a tuxedo.

The Adélie Penguin has an average height range of 18”-28” (46-71 cm), weight of 8-13 lb (3.6-6 kg), and typical lifespan of 11-20 years.

Drawings of Adélie Penguins in an assortment of postures and stances from standing to walking
King Penguin
Dimensioned size comparison drawing of the King Penguin compared to the height of an average man

The King Penguin is the second largest penguin species; slightly smaller than the Emperor Penguin, the King Penguin is similar in appearance to that of the Emperor Penguin, but it can be distinguished by its straighter bill and sleeker body. King penguins breed on the Sub Antarctic islands on the northern regions of Antarctica, South Georgia, as well as other temperate islands; they are classified under least concern conservation status. The species’ diet consists of mostly laternfish, squid, and krill, and King Penguins can dive over 300 feet to catch their prey.

The King Penguin has an average height range of 28”-39” (70-100 cm), weight of 21-40 lb (9.3-18 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-30 years.

Series of drawings of King Penguins in various postures from walking to standing and looking
The King Penguin is the second largest penguin species; slightly smaller than the Emperor Penguin, the King Penguin is similar in appearance to that of the Emperor Penguin, but it can be distinguished by its straighter bill and sleeker body. King Penguins can dive over 300 feet to catch their prey.

The King Penguin has an average height range of 28”-39” (70-100 cm), weight of 21-40 lb (9.3-18 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-30 years.

Series of drawings of King Penguins in various postures from walking to standing and looking
Gentoo Penguin
Elevation drawing with dimensions of the Gentoo Penguin compared to the size of an average person

The Gentoo penguin, sometimes known as the Johnny penguin, is characterized by the large trumpeting call that it makes with its head thrown back. Other distinguishing factors include the wide white stripe that extends over the top of the penguins’ head, and its bright orange-red bill. Gentoo penguins have the most prominent tails of all penguin species. The species is most closely related to the Adélie penguin and the Chinstrap penguin. They are the third largest penguin species, and the fastest underwater swimmers of all penguin species, reaching speeds of 22 miles per hour.

The Gentoo Penguin has an average height range of 20”-35” (51-90 cm), weight of 11-19 lb (4.9-8.5 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Series of elevation drawings of the Gentoo Penguin in an assortment of postures from the front, back, and side views
The Gentoo penguin is characterized by the large trumpeting call that it makes with its head thrown back. Other distinguishing factors include the wide white stripe that extends over the top of the penguins’ head, its bright orange-red bill, and the most prominent tail of all penguin species.

The Gentoo Penguin has an average height range of 20”-35” (51-90 cm), weight of 11-19 lb (4.9-8.5 kg), and typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Series of elevation drawings of the Gentoo Penguin in an assortment of postures from the front, back, and side views
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