Penguins (order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) are an order of flightless birds living in the southern hemisphere. They are not, contrary to popular belief, only found in cold climates, such as Antarctica. Three species live in the tropics; one lives as far north as the Galapagos Islands and will occasionally cross the equator while feeding. Penguins like to stay and move within large groups. Most penguins live off krill, fish, squid, and other forms of sealife that they catch while swimming underwater. They spend half of their life time on land and half in the oceans. The largest species is the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri): adults average about 1.1 meters (3-4 feet) tall and weigh 30 or more kilograms (75 lbs). The smallest penguin species is the Little Blue Penguin (also known as the Fairy Penguin), which is typically 35 to 40 cm tall (14-16 in.) and 1 kilogram (2.5 lbs).













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Generally larger penguins retain heat better and thus inhabit colder regions, while smaller penguins are found in temperate or even tropical climates. Penguins emerged in the Eocene era 40 million years ago. Birds like Palaeeudyptes from the Eocene, Pachydyptes from the Miocene and the now extinct Great Auks resembled modern penguins. The links between other bird orders and penguins are still unknown, and though a distant relationship between penguins and petrels is assumed, it has not been proved. Most fossil penguins known are large, but not larger than the modern Emperor Penguin.

Above Pictures Come From The N.O.A.A.






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