Penguins can’t fly, but they sure can swim. Their bodies are perfect for life in the water!
Like a built-in parka, a layer of thick fat called blubber keeps a penguin warm during dips in freezing water.
A smooth, streamlined body glides gracefully through the sea.
With small, paddle-like wings that work like flippers, penguins “fly” through the water!
A swimming bird needs to be waterproof. Tightly packed feathers covered with oil do just the trick.
Other birds have hollow bones, but penguin bones are heavy and solid. Heavier bones help weigh penguins down, so they can swim under the water instead of floating on top of it.
A penguin has a sharp beak, which helps it catch the slippery squid and fish it eats.
Land Birds, Too!
Penguins get around on land in different ways.
With strong little legs, penguins waddle on land. They take short steps, keeping their bodies completely straight.
Sometimes it’s easier to hop than waddle.
And it’s even easier to flop onto your belly and slide over icy snow! Wheeee!