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Penguin Facts, Information and Detailed Facts on Penguins

Here are some basic and detailed facts about penguins.

* Penguins are birds.
* The name is derived from Welsh terms ‘pen’, meaning head and ‘gwyn’, meaning white.
* Penguin is an unofficial symbol of the United States Libertarian Party.
* They mate for life.
* Linux mascot tux is also a penguin.
* They are ancient species that appeared 40 million years ago in the Eocene.
* Penguins don't fly, they swim.
* Penguins lay eggs.
* Penguin chicks have fluffy feathers.
* A group of penguins is called colonies or rookery.
* They usually move in huge groups.
* Penguins use their wings for swimming.
* Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere.
* Some penguins live in Antarctica, Coast of South America, South Africa, Galapagos, Southern Australia and New Zealand.
* Penguins hunt for fish, squid or shrimp like krill in the oceans to fill their stomach.
* Most penguins can swim about 15 miles per hour.
* Penguins have insulating layers of air, skin, and blubber.
* Penguins have tightly packed feathers that help them to keep warm.
* Penguins open their feather to feel the cold.
* There are at least 18 different species of penguins.
* There may be as many as 100 million penguins in the world.
* Penguins can be endangered by oil spills, water pollution, and the over harvesting

Here are some more facts about penguins.

Penguins (order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica, where they are most well-known for living. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have become flippers. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid, and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. They spend about half of their life on land and half in the oceans.

Although all penguin species are native to the southern hemisphere, they are not found only in cold climates, such as Antarctica. In fact, only a few species of penguin live so far south. Several species are found in the temperate zone, and one species, the Galápagos Penguin, lives near the equator.

The largest living species is the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri): adults average about 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) tall and weigh 35 kg (75 lb) or more. The smallest penguin species is the Little Blue Penguin (also known as the Fairy Penguin), which stands around 40 cm tall (16 in) and weighs 1 kg (2.2 lb). Among extant penguins, larger penguins inhabit colder regions, while smaller penguins are generally found in temperate or even tropical climates (see also Bergmann's Rule). Some prehistoric species attained enormous sizes, becoming as tall or as heavy as an adult human (see below for more). These were not restricted to Antarctic regions; on the contrary, subantarctic regions harboured high diversity, and at least one giant penguin occurred in a region not quite 2,000 km south of the equator 35 mya, in a climate decidedly warmer than today.

The word Penguin is thought by some to derive from the Welsh words pen (head) and gwyn (white), applied to the Great Auk which had white spots in front of its eyes (although its head was black); or from an island off Newfoundland known as Pengwyn, due to its having a large white rock. (In the latter case, the name may also have come from Breton.) This theory is supported by the fact that penguins look remarkably like Great Auks in general shape.

It is also possible that penguin comes from the Latin pinguis, “fat”. This is supported by the fact that the corresponding words in most other languages (e.g., French pingouin, German Pinguin) have i instead of e as the first vowel. However, a Welsh i is often sound-shifted to an e in the English language.

Another theory states that the word is an alteration of “pen-wing”, with reference to the rudimentary wings of both Great Auks and penguins, but there is no evidence to support this.