>> SPECIES DIVERSITY:
Of the 17 species of penguins, 7 live in the Antarctic region. Only two speciesthe emperor and the Adélieare year-round residents of Antarctica or nearby islands.
A dense, waterproof coating of overlapping feathers traps a warm layer of air next to the penguins skin. A thick layer of fat under the skin helps keep the bird toasty warm also.
>> LACK OF FLIGHT:
Sure theyre birds, but they cant fly, although they probably once could. Today they are graceful only in the ocean, where they fly powerfully through the water.
>> KRILL DEPENDENCE:
The smaller penguinsAdélies, gentoos, chinstraps, macaronis, and rockhoppersfeed on krill and other small sea creatures. Larger penguins feed mainly on fish.
Photograph by Paul Dudley Hart
© 2001 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.