Little Penguins: 9 Facts and 9 Pictures

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The little penguin is a cute ball of fluff, so cute that it makes your heart beat! But did you know that the smallest baby penguins weigh about 35 grams at birth? Or that polar bears and penguins don't live in the same country? Read on to check out nine awesome penguin chick facts, and check out some adorable pictures of little penguins.

#9: The smallest little penguin is just too small!

little penguin a pair of penguin chicks
Newborn penguin chicks can be as small as 35 grams.


The little penguin is the smallest penguin in the world. They are surprisingly small at birth weighing only 35 to 45 grams. When they are finally fully grown, they grow slowly and can reach a maximum weight of 2 lbs.

#8: Little penguins are called chicks!

little penguins - a group of little penguins
A group of little penguins are playing in the mud.


The little penguin is a member of the bird family. They grow feathers, beaks, and lay eggs. Penguins used to fly, but over hundreds of years their wings evolved into flippers that help them swim, making it easier to catch food. Like chicks, penguins are also known as chicks (or chicks). how cute!

A colony of little penguins forms what is called a nursery. These groups are created when the chicks' parents are away, and they help keep the babies warm and protect them from predators while the adults are out looking for food. One or two adult penguins guard the nursery.

#6: The male penguin is in charge of the penguin eggs!

little penguins - a group of little penguins
A colony of little penguins waddles on the rocks.


As you probably already know, most animals that lay eggs rely primarily on their mothers to care for them. Penguins break the rules — that is, the male penguins are primarily responsible for caring for the eggs. The male penguins build the nest, protect the eggs, and even sit on them to make sure they stay warm.

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Female penguins often venture out of the nest to forage, but male penguins never eat during hatching, so they depend on the female to bring food back.

#5: Little Penguins’ Downy Feathers Keep Them Warm

Little Penguin - fuzzy penguin chick
Little penguins have a layer of fluffy feathers to keep them warm.


When penguins are born, they have a coat of fluffy, downy feathers. Often mistaken for fur, these fluffy feathers protect little penguins from the frigid conditions. Because the feathers are neither waterproof nor insulative, chicks rely on their parents to keep them warm, and they don't swim until they are older.

As babies grow, they grow stiff, waterproof feathers over a soft, fluffy undercoat, making it easier for them to swim and keeping them warm and dry!

#4: Baby penguins and baby polar bears can't live together!

Little Penguin - Rockhopper Chick Enjoying the Sun
Rockhopper penguin chicks enjoying the sun

©Valerie VSBN/

If you've ever seen a movie featuring baby penguins, you've probably seen them live and play with baby polar bears. You might be surprised to learn that polar bears and penguins don't live in the same habitat! While these adorable furry animals look adorable on screen, in real life they are thousands of miles apart.

Little penguins grow up in the southern hemisphere and live in places like Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand and Australia. Polar bears, on the other hand, live in the northern hemisphere, mostly in Alaska, Greenland, Russia, and Canada.

#3: Penguins can hatch in 30-60 days

Little Penguin - Little Penguin and its parents
A penguin chick is protected by an adult penguin.


Baby penguins don't take long to hatch. Depending on the penguin species, this process can take about 30 days (erect crested penguins) or as long as 66 days (emperor penguins). Penguins lay their eggs in May or June.

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Little emperor penguins take longer to hatch than you might think. Like other birds, baby penguins use their beaks to tear open eggshells to break into the outside world. This process can take up to three days to complete!

#2: Baby penguins are a different color than adults

Little Penguins - penguins waddling on land
Unlike mammals, penguins lay eggs rather than live births.

Penguins are known for their stark black and white colors. However, the chicks are not the same color as their parents. Instead, little penguins come in gray and white, which scientists believe is necessary to identify them as juveniles. Their light color ensures that adults won't see them as competitors. They are also easier to see in this gray snow.

They usually develop their typical black and white plumage at about a year old. It's at this time that they are able to start swimming and adventuring on their own, as they have the insulation they need to survive low temperatures and can forage for food on their own.

#1: Penguins keep warm between their parents' legs

Little Penguin - Close-up of a little penguin
Little penguins depend on their parents for warmth.

© mcgillivray

When penguins are babies, they have a hard time staying warm and regulating their body temperature. To do this, they huddle between their parents' legs to keep warm. Adult penguins waddle around with their chicks to protect them from the elements and protect them from predators.


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Penguin waddling on land
Unlike mammals, penguins lay eggs rather than live births.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Where does the little penguin live?

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Little penguins live mainly in the southern hemisphere, living in countries like Antarctica, New Zealand and even Australia.

What do little penguins eat?

Little penguins survive by regurgitating food from their parents. This means parents chew their food before giving it to their baby from their mouths!

How big is the little penguin?

Little penguins are tiny, cute creatures that weigh from 35 grams to 315 grams at birth, depending on the penguin. The fairy penguin is the smallest baby and the emperor penguin is the biggest baby.

What is the name of the little penguin?

Little penguins are called chicks or fledglings. A group of little penguins that gather together to protect themselves from the cold and predators is called a nursery, which is derived from the French word meaning "manger."

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