1) Penguins were once able to fly.
As members of the bird kingdom who are unable to fly, penguins have always seemed a little unusual. However, researchers at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) have found that at a certain point in their evolutionary journey, penguins could once fly. As penguins’ bodies became more adapted to the water, “getting off the ground eventually just took too much effort for birds that were becoming expert swimmers.” So, they effectively traded in their prior ability of flight for another, more useful one.
2) Penguin’s black and white plumage serves as camouflage while swimming.
The black plumage on their back is hard to see from above, while the white plumage on their front looks like the sun reflecting off the surface of the water when seen from below.
3) While some penguins mate for life or until a partner dies, some penguins often mate with new partners while the old ones are still alive and in the same colony.
Some researchers have noted that male and female penguins sometimes “cheat” on their partners, even while they are nesting and raising young with another penguin.
4) Even the little ones have huge appetites.
The entire species of Adélies, one of the smaller penguins, puts away 1.5 million metric tons of krill a year (and that doesn’t include their appetite for fish and squid).
5) While swimming, penguins will leap in shallow arcs above the surface of the water, a practice called porpoising.
This coats their plumage with tiny bubbles that reduce friction, allowing them to swim as fast as 22 miles per hour (35 kph). It may also help them evade predators and allows them to breathe more regularly, and some scientists theorize that they may make these leaps out of sheer joy.
6) They look out for each other.
Like humans, penguins live in towns and villages called rookeries, because it’s easier to protect each other from predators and from the cold weather in groups. And what’s really nice is that most have a short commute to work finding food.
7) They have fun and play a lot.
Penguins, like humans, love to gather with friends and family to have fun and play. Hanging around with their family gives them particular joy.
8) They communicate effectively.
Penguins talk and chatter a lot to each other, just like humans. Communication is at the heart of their relationships with each other, just as it is with us.
9) They are responsible.
As they grow older, penguins learn to spread their wings, and even though they will never fly, they grow up to be responsible and productive adults. Almost all become parents at some point in their life. Sounds like a familiar human story to us.
10) They build their support network.
Sometimes, penguins take trips together with their extended family. Like us, penguins know that friends and family are an integral part of their support network.
11) They will show love to their children.
Like us, penguins kiss their babies a lot. Their love and affection for their young is always in evidence.
12) They smile often.
Penguins are certainly a happy lot! They rarely get discouraged and almost never give up on their goals. We humans are like that as well.
13) They watch out for danger.
Penguins know the world is full of danger, but you can always count on them to be prudent and careful for their safety, and for the safety of their family and friends. Humans teach our children to look left and right before they cross the street, and we do so at a very early age.
14) They shout their love to the heavens.
Penguins shout their love for each other by screaming it out loud. They aren’t shy about expressing their love for their mate. Saying “I love you” is just a normal part of their day, and they’re willing to express their sentiments often. We humans could learn to do a better job of this.
15) They keep their body clean.
Penguins love to bathe a lot, especially with each other. They will race to get to the water first. Sometimes a refreshing swim makes them jump for joy.
16) They are faithful to the one they love.
Penguins are monogamous, often having one mate for a lifetime. Death of their life partner is about the only circumstance that causes them to search for a new mate. Maybe younger humans should pay attention to the penguin’s model.
17) They stop and smell the roses.
Frequently, penguins just stop and admire the view — what we humans would call “stopping to smell the roses.” They often stand together to admire the view from where they live and travel.
18) They share the parenting responsibilities.
Like humans, penguins share in the nurturing, feeding, and parenting of their children. It’s remarkable how penguins demonstrate that birthing, protecting and raising a child is a shared responsibility of both the mother and the father. You can count on them to work together to build a comfortable nest for their children.
19)They express their love often.
Penguins often dance for joy at the sight of someone they love. They sing their love for each other. Penguins are certainly not shy about expressing their love. Like humans in successful relationships, they find that hanging out with their partner is the greatest joy of life.
20) They argue fairly and don’t hold grudges.
Penguins squawk and often times engage in lively discussions and arguments. They get in each other’s faces, but they usually resolve their differences in a positive fashion. Like human couples, penguins argue. There’s nothing wrong with that, but they’ve learned to argue fairly, effectively, and almost never hold grudges.