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).

Name a Gentoo Penguin Chick

Starting today, you can help name a Gentoo penguin chick at SeaWorld Orlando!  Cast your vote for your favorite name on the SeaWorld Orlando Facebook page.

Penguin chicks at SeaWorld.

From left to right: the king chick hatched on November 30, the Adelie on December 21, the Gentoo on December 16 and the rockhopper on December 20. Photo by Jason Collier / Courtesy of SeaWorld.

Since November 30, SeaWorld Orlando has experienced a penguin chick boom.  Fifteen penguin chicks have hatched at their new exhibit, Antarctica, Empire of the Penguin, which features four different species of penguin: king, Adelie, Gentoo, and rockhopper.

From SeaWorld Orlando:

Although currently ranging in size from 6 inches to 21 inches, the king chick, the largest penguin at SeaWorld’s Antarctica will grow to be as tall as 2.5 ft. and its smallest, the rock hopper will grow to be approximately 12 inches tall.

Learn more at SeaWorld’s website.

Baby Rockhopper Penguins at Sea World

Photo provided by SeaWorld

Sea World Orlando is now the home to two rockhopper penguins. The penguins are born with a downy feathers that will eventually be shed in favor of the familiar crowns of adult rockhoppers.

Photo provided by SeaWorld

Photo provided by SeaWorld