Penguins are incredibly durable, flightless birds, able to survive extremely cold temperatures and fierce winter storms. With their streamlined shape and rigid wings, distinctively colored black and white feathers, and special layers of fat, penguins are skilled swimmers, spending much of their time in the frigid waters around the Antarctic seas. Types of penguins: There are five major groups of penguins with a total of around 20 species –
Geographic Range: Penguins flourish in waters and islands around Antarctica but may be found along the southern coasts of South America and Africa. Only the Galapagos penguins live up near the equator on the Galapagos Islands where very cold water comes up from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Length: The emperor penguin is the largest of the penguins. They can reach a height of 48 inches (122 cm). The smallest penguin is the little blue penguin which is only 13 inches (33 centimeters) tall. Weight: The emperor penguin can weigh up to 99 lbs (45 kg). The little blue penguin weighs just over 3 pounds (1.5 kilograms). Food: Penguins eat seafood, primarily krill and other small crustaceans, small fish, squid and octopus.