penguin


penguin

Any of 17 species (order Sphenisciformes) of flightless seabirds that breed mainly on islands in subantarctic waters and on cool coasts of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. A few species inhabit temperate regions, and the Galápagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) lives in the equatorial tropics off South America. Species differ mainly in size and head pattern; all have a dark back and a white belly. The smallest species, the little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor), is about 14 in. (35 cm) tall; the largest, the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), is almost 4 ft (120 cm) tall. At sea for weeks at a time, flocks feed on fish, squid, and crustaceans.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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