Penguin Facts

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Adélie penguins live on the Antarctic continent and on a number of small, surrounding coastal islands. They spend the winter offshore in the seas surrounding the Antarctic pack ice.

When on land, penguins alternate between walking (or waddling) and tobogganing – sliding over the ice on their bellies, propelled by their feet and flippers.

Adélie penguins usually weigh between 8.5 to 12 lbs and live for up to 20 years in the wild. Their standing height is 70 cm.

Penguin feathers are oiled, forming a waterproof wetsuit that provides 80-90% of their thermal insulation. During the moulting season in February/March, the penguins are not waterproof, so they must remain on land until their new plumage is formed, otherwise they would freeze when going into the cold water.

Adélies penguins feed on tiny aquatic creatures, such as shrimp-like krill; however, they can also eat fish and squid.

The penguins are able to dive as deep as 575 feet; however, they usually hunt in much shallower waters.

They can travel 185 miles on a round trip to obtain food.

Adélie penguins live in one of the harshest environments of any bird species, with temperatures reaching -40°C.

When Adélie penguins are on land, they build nests and line them with small stones.

Although Adélie penguins have the usual awkward looking penguin walk, they are actually able to walk long distances. They have been known to walk for up to 30 miles if necessary to reach open water.

Male and female Adélie penguins take turns in incubating their eggs. After three weeks the chicks are able to leave their parents and after nine weeks the young are able to swim.

Some of the strongest wind readings ever recorded have been at Pointe Géologie, with speeds of up to 300km/h.