Your questions about penguins2020-05-25T13:34:24+00:00

Your questions about penguins

Here are the questions you’ve sent in about penguins (and about me, Tiki the Penguin), each followed by my answer. If what you want to know isn’t on this page or one of its links send me your question using the form below

Click on the questions to expand

Why do macaroni penguins have crest?2020-05-15T12:47:30+00:00

Why do macaroni penguins have crest? Samantha

Dear Samantha: I really don’t know. Some birds (like, for example, peacocks) have very fancy feathers but most don’t.

How old am I?2020-05-15T12:46:44+00:00

hi tiki my name is antonie you may not remember me I emailed you quit a lot, this mite be a lot to ask for but how old are you.

Dear Antonie: The truth is I don’t really know how old I am.. Penguins don’t celebrate birthdays or keep birth date records. Sorry.

Do I like being a penguin?2020-05-15T12:45:44+00:00

dear tiki: your website is cool! But one question? Do you like being a penguin? From chris

Dear Chris: I do like being a penguin, yes. And that’s why my website is cool: plenty of ice around! Do you like being a human?

What do penguins eat?2020-05-15T12:44:13+00:00

What do penguins eat? What is kind of food is your favorite? Thank you for answering my question.Your friend, Katie x

Hello Katie: I am, as you know, a king penuin and my favourite food is fish, but I also like squids and shrimpy animals called krill. Other types of penguin like
different things. Adelie penguins, for example, eat almost nothing but krill.

Do penguins have scales?2020-05-15T12:43:30+00:00

hello is it true penguins have scales cuz my friend mary told aliesha that donnie said that they have scales!i was like say what that is sooo not true but i thought id ask you anyways thanx

It is sooo not true. You were right. Penguins, like all birds, have feathers. Reptiles (like snakes and lizards) have scales.

Why don’t penguins fly?2020-05-15T12:42:25+00:00

Hi Tiki. My first question is: Whatis your beauty secret? Why don’t you fly? Farah

Hello Farah: Penguins are beautiful because (like all birds) they look after their feathers. They preen them and oil them to keep them smart, smooth and waterproof. Penguins do fly… underwater. You should see us go!!! We have no need to fly in the air because all our food comes from under the sea. Just a few birds (like guillemots) can both fly in the air and swim under the sea to catch their fish. But they can’t swim as fast, as long or as deep as penguins. Nowhere near.

How do penguins know if they’re related?2020-05-15T12:41:12+00:00

How do penguins know who the are reated to if they all look the same?

They may all look the same to you but not to us. Nor do they sound the same. We all have different voices so mates can recognise mates and also their
chicks.

Was I in the film ‘March of the Penguins’2020-05-15T12:40:19+00:00

were you in the film march of the penguins mr tiki??

No. Those penguins were all Emperor penguins. I am a King penguin!

Why do penguins live in cold places?2020-05-15T12:38:50+00:00

heres a hard question that my teach couldent answer. why do penguins live in cold places, why not in warm places??

It’s not really a hard question. Penguins have become specially adapted to live happily in cold water. We have evolved that way over millions of years. To stay warm, we have a thick layer of insulating fat and very special waterproof and doubly insulating feathers. In fact, some of our kind live at the equator in the Galapagos islands where it can be very hot. The penguins there spend most of their time in the cold waters off the islands. The water is cold, even at the equator, because it’s part of a huge ocean current which comes up from the Antarctic.
Why have we adapted to the cold? Because cold waters are usually very rich in the sort of food we like to eat: fish, squids and shrimpy things called krill. Warm waters are generally much less productive.
The Emperors in the film ‘March of the Penguins’ are especially well adapted to the cold because it means that there are no other animals to prey on them while they are rearing their chicks in the freezing winter. Further north where it’s warmer, other penguins have to put up with being attacked by flying birds like skuas, but they couldn’t stand the freezing winters like the Emperors. Still other penguins live around New Zealand, South America and south Africa where the climate is much warmer, but the cold currents with plenty of food are there and keep them cool while they’re at sea.

Are penguins birds and what food do they eat?2020-05-15T12:37:27+00:00

Is a penguin a type of bird? Do penguins eat anything apart from fish

Yes, penguins are birds. And we eat squids and krill as well as fish.

Do whales eat penguins?2020-05-15T12:36:08+00:00

Do whales eat pinguins?(you should know you’r a pinguin)

If I had been eaten by a whale, I would know, yes. But then I wouldn’t be able to answer your question! Killer whales (orcas) do, I think, eat penguins but they much prefer larger meals like seals. Leopard seals attack and eat penguins, I’m sorry to say.

How do penguins navigate?2020-05-15T12:34:52+00:00

How do penguins navigate -I understand it has to do with the sun but do you have more detatils or know of any research? Please answer – thank you
Kirsty

Dear Kirsty: How penguins (and other birds that migrate very long distances such as shearwaters and terns) find their way is complicated and not something humans, with their limited brainpower, can really grasp. I agree with you that we use the sun for general route-finding but there are many other more subtle ways we use too. Think of the Polynesian people who found their way in open canoes all over the Pacific hundreds and even thousands of years ago. They didn’t have GPS and didn’t even have compasses. They used similar guides to what we penguins use. That’s all I can say. We birds like to keep some secrets from humans! And I don’t know of any research specific to penguins although there may be.

Why are penguins important?2020-05-15T12:33:32+00:00

What are penguins importance?

Who decides whether penguins are important? Humans. Are humans as important? I don’t know.

How do penguins slide?2020-05-15T12:32:33+00:00

how do penguins slide?

On their tummies.

Why are Macaroni penguins called macaroni penguins?2020-05-15T12:31:33+00:00

Thank you for mailing us back. We have one more question for you. Why are Macaroni Penguins called macaroni penguins. Do they get their name from the food or somewhere else?
Until next time,

Mrs. Manuel’s Class

The Macaroni penguin was named by English explorers. In the mid 18th century, a young man who wore flashy feathers in his hat was called a “Macaroni”. The English explorers thought the yellow crest feathers of this penguin looked just like the flashy young man.

How many Emperor penguins are there in a rookery?2020-05-15T12:30:11+00:00

Hi Tiki: We are a grade one French Immersion class in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. We are just finishing up our unit on penguins, and especially liked the Emperor penguin. We have all seen The March of the Penguins, and could not believe the number of penguins gathered at the rookery. Our question is: About how many Emperors are there in a rookery? We can’t wait to hear from you, and are enjoying exploring your site and its links.
Sincerely,

Madame Manuel’s Grade One Class.

Hello Madame Manuel’s Grade One Class! I’m glad you’re enjoying exploring my website. Please explore some more: there’s lots there.
Emperor penguins breed all round the Antarctic continent. There’s probably around 195,000 pairs. Most rookeries will have between 5 and 10 thousand of penguins but nobody’s counting!
Vive le penguine!

Pictures of me2020-05-15T12:28:06+00:00

Hi Tiki! How come there aren’t any pictures of you, only cartoons? Bye, Cassie :-)

I’m too shy.

Where do penguins sleep?2020-05-15T12:26:54+00:00

Where do penguins sleep?

When penguins are breeding and raising chicks, they sleep on land. But most of the time, they’re out at sea and don’t come to land for months at a time, so they take short naps when they can.

How long do penguins live?2020-05-15T12:26:09+00:00

hi i am kaley , how long do you live???

Hi Kaley: Penguins don’t live as long as humans. Most penguins live for between 10 and 20 years.

Are penguins ever cold?2020-05-15T12:10:08+00:00

hi i love and adore penguins are you ever cold and are you real this is a cool site write back please

No, penguins like me are never cold (even though I have a cool site!!). This is because we are very well insulated with layers of fat and special waterproof feathers. Sometimes we get too hot though!

Sure I’m real… which is how I get to write to you!

When do penguins sleep?2020-05-15T12:09:00+00:00

When do Penguins sleep?

Penguins sleep for a few minutes at a time, either during the day or during the night, wherever they happen to be. But they sleep for longer periods on land and at night. They will sleep sitting in the water, standing up, lying down or just sitting. So now you know.

How many eggs do penguins lay?2020-05-15T12:07:38+00:00

Hi my name is Anne Jeraie. I want to ask how many eggs do Penguins lay?

Hello Anne Jeraie: Penguins usually lay two eggs. If there’s plenty of food, both hatched chicks may survive but if there isn’t much food, the stronger one gets most of what there is and the other will die

Fundraising to help penguins!2020-05-15T12:06:46+00:00

hey tiki!!! I’m 13 years old and a few of my friends and I have gotten a club together. Its is called the Penguin Lovers club. Most of the people in the club don’t even take it seriously. But, we are very dedicated to helping penguins all over the world. We just started our club, yet we have plans to raise money and do fundraisers to go to penguins wherever they need money. we are completely open to new ideas about what we can do for penguins, so if you have any tips let me know!! Lauren (from Texas, USA).

Hello Lauren: First, congratulations on starting such a brilliant club. That’s wonderful! Now to the more tricky bit: how can any money you raise actually help? You’re right, many penguins are in serious trouble because of pollution, climate change and damage by people to their nest sites. But it’s not just penguins that are suffering. Many other animals and plants are in peril too, and even many humans! But you can’t help every single thing that’s in trouble so it makes good sense to choose one particular type of very special bird: my penguin friends and relations. Of course, penguins can’t directly use your money so you have to give it to organisations that can. I have a few ideas:

1. You could contact WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and ask their advice (as you have me). This WWF page might be a start.

2. You could do the same with the Jane Goodall Institute. I know this is not for penguins but you might get some ideas.

3. Then there’s Pete & Barb’s Penguin Pages which have loads of penguin information and useful links. One page tells you how to get involved with just the sort of ideas you could be looking for.

4. You could contact your local zoo for ideas.

I hope this helps you to help penguins everywhere!

How do penguins break through ice?2020-05-15T12:03:53+00:00

Dear Tiki, Who is your mother? sorry but ive been wondering. How do penguins break through ice. thanks for the questions and your time. lauren

Hello Lauren: My mother is another king penguin who looks just like me. She lives in the Antarctic Ocean and each year, she and my father come to South Georgia, where I was hatched, and she lays two eggs. Eighteen months later, I have one or two new fully-grown brother or sister penguins! Penguins don’t break through ice. They keep away from heavy pack ice because they need to come up to breathe between dives. We king penguins tend to keep away from the pack ice, but there are other penguins like adelies and emperors which spend time much further south. They breed on Antarctica. But in cold years, the pack reaches us in South Georgia.

What is it like being a penguin?2020-05-15T12:02:38+00:00

hey there, how ya doin? im looking up your web pages for an assignment at school! Whats it like being a penguine? c,ya later, Christy

Great thanks. What’s it like being a human?

Am I really a penguin?2020-05-15T12:01:39+00:00

Tiki: Also are you really a penguin cause if you are then THAT WOULD BE RELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s a secret!

Do I live in Antarctica?2020-05-15T12:00:44+00:00

Hi, my name is Colin. Your website is sooooo cool! Do u live in Antarctica? I heard u were fat by a person named Keri. [ I read the note they sent u and the reply] Is it true? Don’t take this personal, Okay! I hope u reply me! From, Colin

Hello Colin: Me and my king penguin friends and relations normally live in the oceans around the Antarctic. I was hatched on the island of South Georgia. And no, I’m not really fat. Sleek, yes. The cartoons sometimes make me look fat.

How big can penguins grow?2020-05-15T11:59:23+00:00

i love your web site my teacher has asked me to find out how big penguins grow so can you please tell me

You can find out all you need to know at Pete and Barb’s Penguin Pages. The biggest penguin is the Emperor. King penguins like me are the next biggest.

Ask a question


Do you have a question which I haven’t answered in my guides or on my Questions pages? Do you think I could help you understand something you can’t find out for yourself? If you do, just fill in the form below to send me your question. I promise I’ll reply to all serious questions. (That means I won’t reply to silly ones! I haven’t got time.). PLEASE be sure to tell me your first name, your age and the country you live in. And pleeeease do let me know if my answer helped! And sorry, but I can’t do your schoolwork or homework for you! That’s for you clever kids to get sorted. simple penguinRemember, I’m just a simple penguin.

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