Planning a penguin party this weekend? You should be!
January 20th marks Penguin Awareness Day - a day to celebrate the wonder of penguins and raise the profile of these charismatic creatures!
Here are a few fun facts about these funny, flappy fluffballs -
- There are 17 species of penguin for your perusal
- Penguins are flightless, tuxedo-wearing aquatic birds
- Apart from Galapagos Penguins, they live exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere - you'll never catch them hanging around Santa's workshop in the North Pole!
- They are infamous for being highly inquisitive and unafraid of humans, making them ideal cuddle candidates
- They have no natural land predators - nope, not even polar bears (see above)
Instead they are hunted by orca, sharks, and leopard seals - yikes!
- That black and white dinner suit not only looks adorable but provides excellent camouflage in the water
- Emperor Penguins are the largest species, standing an impressive 4 feet tall
- The smallest is the Little Blue Penguin at a teensy-weensy 16 inches
- Gentoo Penguins are the fastest - they can reach swimming speeds of up to 22mph!
- Most species are monogamous - divorce rates are low in the penguin world
- Their hilarious antics and amusing expressions have made them the stars of countless internet memes
Sadly climate change and overfishing are shrinking penguin populations Why not support one of these penguin heroes?
WWF - World Wildlife Fund
GPS - the Global Penguin Society
IFAW - International Fund for Animal Welfare
They help rescue oiled birds, through their Penguin Network Project.
The project now involves eight wildlife organisations that help with cleaning up and monitoring penguins
SANCCOB - Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds
This South African charity is an internationally recognised leader in oiled wildlife response, rehabilitation and chick-rearing. They also contribute to research which benefits seabirds and train people to care for the birds. You can support them by Adopting a Penguin!