What do Penguins eat? Well if the exact same question is asked to a penguin, he would say something like that I’m on a seafood diet, I see food and I eat it. As the food is the essential element for surviving, penguins are also indulged in this activity just like other living beings. Now the question is what do penguins eat, when do they take their meal and how do they prey?
As there are many species of penguins and each one has its own taste. But if I have to generalize, I would say fish is their main diet. They also eat squids and krill which is a shrimp-like crustacean from the Family Euphausiidae. They usually prey upon small fish and eat squids whenever they are available. Penguins can stay alive without eating for 2 days. Eating also help them to keep their body warm in extreme weather conditions. When prey is not available, they huddle to keep their body warm.
What do Emperor Penguins eat
Just like any other penguins, they also feed upon small fish and krill. Alongside them, squids and crustaceans are also part of their diet. They have rough and spiky tongue like other penguins, which help them swallow slippery fish and other slippery diet. Penguins usually settle on small preys because they are cold when ingested. Hence, it is easier for them to keep up their body temperature as these preys are easy to swallow. Larger preys can’t be swallowed making their body temperature unbalanced.
What do King Penguins eat
King Penguins are the second largest of their species as Emperor Penguins are the largest among penguins. They also feed upon fish, squids and krill. As they can dive deeper than the larger penguins (Emperor), these species are open to more menu options. They like to eat lantern fish.
Penguins just don’t have to prey for themselves as well as for chicks. They have to leave their colonies to find prey for them. While incubating eggs in winter, male penguins don’t eat at all for two months, resulting in significant weight loss.
How long can penguins stay hungry
In winter, male penguins don’t leave the nesting areas to feed. They protect their eggs from extreme cold for two months. During this period, they don’t eat, they don’t drink, just protect their eggs. So, yes, penguins can stay alive without eating for two months straight. In this period, they lose about 10-12 kg of their body weight. Usually penguins eat in reserve to survive this weather. They uses their body fat to keep themselves warm whilst incubation period. Other thing they do to stay warm is huddling.
How do penguins eat their food
If you are thinking how penguins do eat their food. Let me stop you right there. They don’t eat their food, they swallow. Yea, you heard me right, they swallow. As penguins don’t have crop (an expanded, muscular pouch near the gullet or throat used to store food temporarily) they swallow food. They also store some food for their chicks in a portion of their stomach called proventriculus.
How do Penguins forage
Penguin’s hunting techniques varies from specie to specie. Some may cherish to go under the water to find their prey. Some would risk going farther from their nesting areas. Penguins have high advantage under water to get their prey as their vision is extra-ordinary in these conditions. Some penguins forage miles away from their nesting areas. Emperor Penguins can travel 300-500 miles away from their colonies to find prey.
What do penguins eat in captivity
To keep penguins alive in their artificial habitats, their nutrition is controlled by zookeepers or expert veterinarians. They are given the same kind of diet as their wild cousins. But this fact is also kept in mind that these captive penguins don’t have to suffer extreme climatic conditions as the wild penguins do. These penguins don’t have to prey as they are hand fed and are given chopped fish. They are given some additional supplements as per need.
What are penguins predators
Penguins main predator is a ferocious mammal known as leopard seal (mostly found in the Antarctica region). Other than this, whales and sharks are also penguin predators. There is a bird known as Skuas, it is notorious for stealing penguins egg and eating baby penguins.
Penguins stay in their colonies and stick to each other as their defensive tactic against these predators. They swim in groups too, just to provide cover to each other.
What do penguins drink
As penguins live in polar areas, they don’t have fresh water available there. Water is frozen everywhere and not even a single drop is available. It is like desert of snow. So, in order to quench their thirst they go to oceans. As we all know, even the water in oceans is frozen from outside. They have to go deep down the ocean to find water in liquid state.
The other way they adopt to fill their thirst is by eating snow. After huddling, penguins get a little warmer than their bearable range of temperature. They eat snow to balance their body temperature. Temperature inside a penguin huddle can go up to 70°F.
Can penguins drink salty water
Yes, penguins can drink salty. Rather I would say there is not much choice for them. Those poor souls have no water resources except ocean. Therefore, they have to drink salty water. Penguins have a special gland which converts salty water into fresh. To be precise, these glands extract salt from penguin’s bloodstream. The supraorbital gland is located above nose and the excessive salt is excreted in from of salty nasal secretions. Penguins also eat ice as a water source and this too is filtered in the same way as the salty water is processed.
Penguins can drink freshwater too if available. It’s not like they have to drink salty water and excrete salt from it. Penguins living in zoos and other research facilities drink freshwater.