Penguin cover

Penguins  are widely regarded as adorable due to their tuxedo-like coloring and waddling walk, but these sleek birds are tougher than they appear. While their heavy bodies and small wings make them slow on land and unable to fly, these characteristics make them excellent swimmers. Their streamlined shape lets them cut through the water very quickly. At speeds of fifteen miles per hour, they’re as fast as a bottlenose dolphin and four times faster than the fastest human swimmer. Not only can they travel quickly across the ocean, but they can swim very deep in it too. When hunting squid, emperor penguins can dive 900 feet underwater.
Penguins use their speed and endurance to catch their prey, but they also rely on their swimming ability to avoid becoming prey themselves. Their coloring also comes in handy to keep them safe: the white on a penguin’s belly blends in with the light at the surface of the water, making a penguin hard to spot for hungry seals lurking below the water’s surface.
Many of the traits that we think make penguins look cute actually help them survive. Can you think of any other traits that help animals catch food and stay safe that you’ve read about in Zoobooks?

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