5 Cool Facts about Penguins for Penguin Awareness Day

Emperor penguin

It’s Penguin Awareness Day today! Here are five cool facts about penguins to celebrate.

  1. Emperor penguins don’t build nests. Instead, the male emperor penguin balances the egg on his feet and covers it with a warm layer of feathered skin called a brood pouch.
  2. African penguins are also called jackass penguins. They make donkey-like braying sounds to communicate.
  3. One species of penguin is called the macaroni penguin. They’re not made of noodles, but they do have fun yellow feathered crests on their heads.
  4. Penguins have white bellies and black backs, which aids in camouflage. Their white belly will blend with the light when predators look up at them from below, and their black backs meld with the darker seas when predators look down on them from above.
  5. Gentoo penguins are the fastest penguins, swimming at speeds up to 35 km/h (22 mph).

African Penguin Gets Custom Wetsuit

At the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT, a 14-year-old penguin named Yellow Pink molted his waterproof feathers last year. They never grew back. Without the waterproof feathers, swimming became uncomfortable for the penguin.

Fortunately, a team of veterinarians, trainers, and research staff made him a custom neoprene wetsuit out of an old aquarium diving suit. Now Yellow Pink can stay warm as as swims.

Watch a video of Yellow Pink swimming in his suit below:

For more information about Yellow Pink, visit the Mystic Aquarium website or find them on Facebook.

Learn more about African penguins on our African Penguin Facts Page.