Penguins: Northern Hemisphere vs.. Southern Hemisphere

White thought to be native only to the Northern Hemisphere, penguins can really be found in Antartica, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and South Africa.

Ever since the early 50’s, it has been a misconception that penguins live in the Northern Hemisphere.  Mainly because cartoons and books depicted them as friends with polar bears, walruses, and  Santa Claus.   But if the truth be known, no wild penguin lives in the Northern Hemisphere except for on the Galapagos Island.

Penguins are a group of aquatic flightless birds that live in the Southern Hemisphere especially Antartica if that far south.  Most species live in the temperate zone and the Galapagos Penguin lives near the equator.  Larger penguins inhabit colder regions while smaller ones are found generally in the temperate or even tropical climates.

Penguins have counter shaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have become flippers.  They spend half their lives in the water and half on land.  There are currently 17 to 20 living species.  They feed on krill, fish, and squid while swimming underwater.  The largest living penguin is the Emperor Penguin and the Smallest Penguin is the Little Blue Penguin AKA Fairy Penguin.  About 1 in every 50,000 penguins is called an Isabelline Penguin. Their plumage is brown rather than black and they have a shorter lifespan than a normal penguin.  

So if you have the desire to be close to a penguin then south is definitely the place to visit.  Especially Antartica or the nearby off shore islands because there penguins have no land predators.  Because of this, penguins have no special fear of humans.  Typically they don’t approach closer than 10ft, at which point they start getting nervous, but tourists are not expected to withdraw if the penguin does come closer.  


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3 Responses to “Penguins: Northern Hemisphere vs.. Southern Hemisphere”
  1. CHIPMUNK Says...

    On June 18, 2011 at 5:25 am

    great sharing

  2. paulc488 Says...

    On June 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

    nice share

  3. Borhan Says...

    On July 2, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Nice share. Thanks.

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