Five Fun Facts for Penguin Awareness Day

posted: 01/19/16
by: Discovery.com Staff

January 20 marks Penguin Awareness Day, a day dedicated to celebrating and protecting our favorite black and white flightless birds. We've pulled together five of our favorite fun facts to pay tribute to our feathered friends:

Penguins at the shoreline
Wolfgang Bayer/Discovery Communications

Penguins can drink salt water. They have specialized nasal glands that filter excess salt from their bloodstream, preventing hypertension.

Penguins diving into water.
Joel Simon/Digital Vision

Average penguin diving speeds range from 3.7 to 7.5 mph. When startled, they may reach speeds up 20 mph.

Galapagos penguin

There are only an estimated 6,000 to 15,000 Galapagos penguins remaining, making them the world's rarest penguin species.

Colony of king penguins
PhotoLink/Getty Images

The earliest known penguins lived 66 million years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the planet. These prehistoric penguins weren't flightless like modern penguins.

Chinstrap penguin colony near Orne Harbor, Antarctic Peninsula
Lewnwdc77/Wikimedia Commons

The largest penguin colony in the world is a chinstrap penguin colony in the South Sandwich Islands that numbers roughly 2 million penguins.

Want more penguin fun facts? Click here to check out our penguin fact generator.


About the blog:
DSCOVRD: The best of the web, covering space, technology, wildlife and more!
More on