How do penguins live? Are they intelligent? Why can’t they fly? Can they bite humans? Are they really innocent?
Penguins are amazingly interesting. Fun facts about them are greatly searched and enjoyed. Their gait and appearance are also very attention-grabbing.
- Penguins act indifferent to one another.
Penguins generally live together in the form of groups. But when one penguin meets the penguin of another kind or species, it starts behaving indifferently. They pose as if they don’t know each other. Their interactions are very limited although they breed in one environment, live together, swim together, form groups for safety and warmth etc. This actually shows that they don’t have a societal system and enjoy living personal lives. Penguins are conservative, restrained, reserved and slow to reveal emotions. They are socially awkward.
- Penguins are supremely intelligent.
It is one of the lesser known interesting fun facts that penguins are very smart. They quickly comprehend and respond to signs and gestures. Studies reveal that their brains are highly developed as compared to the animals and birds of the same sizes. Even chimpanzees are unable to understand some signs but those signs were quickly grabbed by penguins. A scientist Diana Reiss performed mirror experiments to judge their intelligence. She put two African Penguins in the aquarium and spotted them with black inks. Then she placed a mirror in front of them. The penguins watched themselves in the mirrors and started trying to remove the ink marks. It was a highly creative act. It revealed their self-awareness, self-recognition and self-acknowledgement. They were able to recognize their reflections and knew that something was done with their bodies.
- Penguins lose all of their feathers once a year.
It is a very delightful fact that penguins lose all of their feathers once a year. They remain naked for about two to three weeks and feel very confused during this time. After almost two to three weeks, the new feathers begin to grow on their bodies. During this naked phase, they cannot fish or swim and face food shortages. They are even unable to walk comfortably. This phase is called the catastrophic molt. During this phase, they no longer remain waterproof, and are forced to live on land. Unlike other birds that molt only a few feathers at a time, penguins lose all of their feathers at once.
- Penguins do tobogganing.
Penguins can lay on their stomachs. They particularly do it on icy surfaces. They start propelling on their feet with bellies touching the ground. Instead of shuffling across the ice, they choose to do tobogganing. They feel it is the faster way to move around. You can imagine how cute they look in this position. It is their very cute behavior. Penguins actually know how to adjust themselves in all kinds of environments and quickly learn to manage any kind of environmental impact.
- Penguins are loyal to their exact nesting sites.
Penguins never forget the place where they are born and love to come back to their original nesting sites. They are faithful and lovely. They often visit the rookery in which they are born. It is the lovely habit of penguins. It shows that they have emotions and personal attachments. Love of their native place is embedded in their hearts.
- Penguins can bite humans.
Have you fallen in love with penguins? Take a break and wait a bit. They can bite you really. They have pointed beaks with hooks at the end. These beaks can break your skin. Their feathers can also beat you and they can give you a big whack with them.These creatures seem very innocent but can attack you suddenly. You have to watch out for their flippers if you want to avoid any kind of whacking. A survey shows that while doing treatments of penguins, they never forget to hurt you and often cause serious lacerations. So you must learn the correct use of grabbing them for their treatment. The penguins actually want to teach you the right way of treating and holding them. So be aware! If you want to hug them, you must be very careful. They can cause wounds on your chest, stomach and arms which can result in slight bleeding as well. They are very grumpy and dislike being handled by human beings. Are you thinking about… do their chicks also bite? No, they are very soft, fluffy, innocent and flocculent. Small chick will never harm you and you will be compelled to love their fragility and cuteness. If you hold them up to your cheeks, you will surely feel their placidity. But if you show the same gesture of love and affection to the adult penguin, you may lose your eye or all the beauty of your cheeks. So be careful when handling them.
- Penguins have forgotten to fly during their evolutionary process.
Can you believe it? It looks quite funny that despite being intelligent, they forget to fly. Scientists assume that they have been evolved from auk-like ancestors. Auk are the birds which are highly adapted to swimming. The oldest known fossils of penguins are about 60 million years old. These earlier penguins lived at the time of the extinction era when most of the dinosaurs died and it became difficult for many creatures to live. So they found a refuge by adjusting themselves for aquatic life. They made themselves free of any kind of disturbance of the dry land and learnt to swim.
- Adelie penguins are thieves.
Adelie penguins are the smallest and the naughtiest penguins. They often steal stones from the nests of other penguins. Mostly , they do it for fun. On the other hand , they protect their own nests very carefully and keep a strict eye on every other bird that comes near to their nests. Adelie penguins are found most commonly on the south coast of Antarctica. Another interesting aspect of their personality is that they look like little men and walk very fastly. Like all other penguins, they cannot fly. Swimming is helpful in finding food. They eat krills mainly. Why do they steal stones only? The answer is quite funny. Many penguins put stones in their nests. These stones are gifts which they exchange with their partners as a gesture of true love and keep them in nests. Adelies try to weaken the love bonds of male and female penguins, that’s why they steal those stones which are very precious for the couple living in the nest.
What happens when their theft is caught?
Again a very fascinating reason is there. They live in the form of large groups and never give any chance of taking revenge to their enemies. They not only defend themselves but also protect their colonies. Each colony contains about half a million of Adelies. This class of penguins teaches us unity. Stealing stones is only a cute and harmless activity. They also make their nests out of stones but never let anyone steal their stones.
- Penguins push their fellow in water.
Penguins often push their fellow into the water to check if the area is free from danger and predators. We can imagine that the penguins are selfish and clever. They know how to protect themselves. To determine the safety of underwater areas, they don’t risk their own lives but push their other fellows suddenly into the water.
- Penguins have elbows and knees.
Their legs are larger than they look. And there is the presence of elbow in their flipper bones. It is an incredible and fantastic scientific fact which is related to the anatomy of penguins. They have flat and broad bones of flippers and there is the presence of elbow and wrist bones. The joints of elbow and wrist bones are fused together. This is one of the reasons why they don’t have wings like other birds. They have tapered flippers modified for swimming. Their elbows cannot perform the function of bending. It means the presence of elbows is only structural. Similarly, they do have knees,femur, tibia and fibula bones. They have large legs but due to the presence of bulky feathers, apparently their legs look tiny. So it is an optical illusion. Unlike elbows, knees of the penguins are foldable. They can bend their knees.
- Female Penguins prostitute.
Penguins often cheat their partners. By nature, penguins are monogamous and spend their lives with only one partner. But some of the female penguins deceive their husbands. These prostitutes indulge in sexual activity with other unattached and unknown male members. Almost one-third of Humboldt female penguins cheat on their partners. What is the purpose behind cheating? They do it to get food and precious stones from other male penguins. Some female penguins are so flirty and cunning that they miss the make love only to the extent of the flirt and miss the physical activity. Prostitution among penguins was first reported in 1998 by Flona Hunter.
So these were some lesser known interesting fun facts of penguins’ life. Their lives are full of very strange habits and acts. Some of their features do resemble with humans like presence of knees and elbows, upright posture, monogamy, theft, intelligence and prostitution. Although some acts are considered illegal and immoral among human beings, they seem highly surprising when observed in penguins.
I hope you have enjoyed these fun facts.