Penguins are a group of flightless birds that are mainly considered to be aquatic animals. Almost exclusively living in the southern hemisphere, there are several different species of penguins that can be found on the planet. Among them, the largest penguin specie is the Emperor penguins.
With an average height of 45 inches, these flightless birds live on the Arctic ice and the cold waters surrounding it. These brilliant animals rely on a number of clever adaptive traits in order to breed, raise their young and sustenance in the harsh Arctic climate.
Penguins mate in the winter season over which sees them court each other over the course of several weeks. A female penguin then lays an egg and leaves. The male penguin is then responsible for balancing the egg between its feet. While it may look like that it is a very harsh way for the mother to leave the child, it is actually the best for the egg. The males cover the eggs with the brood pouch which is essentially a warm layer of skin covered in feathers that has been designed to keep the eggs warm.
For the course of 65 days the male penguins take care of the eggs through all of the tough weather conditions in the Arctic winters. The females then return after two months, bringing food that they regurgitate from their stomachs in order to feed the penguin hatchlings. Once the females are back and take over the responsibility of taking care of the penguin hatchlings, the males go off to sea and fish for themselves.
The young penguins, as they are growing up, are left by the adults in groups of other chicks while they are out and about fishing. The timing of the mating season means that the summers in the Arctic region arrives closer to when the penguins are growing up. This brings the water closer to the ice and makes it easier for the penguins to go on their fishing expeditions as they become older.
Penguins are particularly good swimmers. They are capable of diving into water over 1,850 feet, which is deeper than any other bird can dive and they are able to hold their breaths for over 20 minutes. With the sleek and streamlined bodies that they have, penguins are excellent when it comes to moving fast in water and are prolific hunters that eat fish, squid and krill.