List of penguin types Introduction to characteristics, history, and ecology Animals that can be seen at aquariums, etc.


List of types of penguins We will introduce their characteristics and ecology. Penguins are one of the most popular animals in the world. There are currently 18 types of penguins living in the world, and many people keep them in captivity. Here we will introduce a list of the types of penguins there.

What is a penguin? What kind of animal is it?

Penguin is a general term for birds belonging to the order Penguinformes (Sphenisciformes), and is a bird that lives mainly in the southern hemisphere. They are very popular with humans because they walk upright and bipedally, just like humans. This penguin is mainly found in the southern hemisphere. Penguins that walk slowly and clumsily on land can move quickly in the water. Although they are flightless birds, they have the ability to swim fairly quickly underwater in order to catch fish for food.

animals that have lost the ability to fly

The most distinctive feature of penguins is that they are flightless birds. Penguins usually collect fish in the water to eat. And it’s a lifestyle where you go on land and sleep. Although there are differences depending on the type of penguin, it is said that they are generally the same. Penguins eat fish, squid, and crustaceans. It is predicted that they lost the ability to fly because their wings degenerated due to the availability of food in the sea and the lack of predators nearby.

have a flipper

“Flipper” means wings. A penguin’s oar-shaped wings are called “flippers.” Using this flipper, penguins can now swim well. Penguin wings are very hard. This is because the bones and muscles are densely packed, making it quite heavy and acting like an oar on a boat. This allows it to swim underwater at high speeds.

Penguin’s love is the single-minded type and the cheating type.

A penguin’s love life can be said to be both sincere and flirtatious. Penguins that live in groups typically form monogamous pairs. Magellanic penguins are the type of penguins that, when paired, stay together for the rest of their lives. On the other hand, Adélie penguins, which have a high mortality rate, often cheat. This is because their partners often die from predation by killer whales and skuas. Some penguins are very light-hearted and love to flirt.

live in groups

Penguins have the habit of living in groups. Of course, this is not the top of the food chain. Penguins protect themselves by living in groups, called colonies. It is also famous for the formation of “kuraysh”, which is a hangout area for chicks when they are born.

counter shading

Do you know the term countershading? This is a phenomenon in which the shaded areas of the body’s surface become lighter in color, and the areas exposed to sunlight become darker. Unfortunately, penguins are not at the top of the food chain. There are predators such as sharks and killer whales in the water, and condors and foxes on land. To protect themselves from them, they have a white belly and a black back for camouflage.

penguin history

When did penguins appear? I’m sure there are many people who are interested. It is said that the penguin, which is probably the prototype of the penguin, was born 50 million to 60 million years ago. Penguins are said to have first appeared in Zealandia (now New Zealand).

Crossvaria waiparensis

Land mammals in Zealandia became extinct 85 million years ago when land subsided and the island became isolated. This gave rise to terrestrial birds. Now Crossvallia waiparensis has appeared. It is said that they lived between 66 and 56 million years ago. It was an extremely large bird, measuring 160 cm in height and weighing 80 kg.


The next child born was Kupou Poustilweri, who was born on Chatham Island near New Zealand. It lived around 60 million years ago and is said to be 110cm tall. They are smaller than other ancient penguins and quite similar to modern penguins. It is said that Kupoupoustilweri acquired the ability to dive and lost the ability to fly.


The next creature said to have been born was Kumimanubikeae. It was born between 60 million and 55 million years ago. It is said to have a body length of 177 cm and a weight of about 100 kg, which is about the same size as a human. Because they walked upright on land and were surrounded by predators such as seals, their body color changed from front to back (countershading).

Ichadyptes salasi

The next one to emerge was Ichadyptes salasi, which was born 37 million years ago. They live in the tropics, have a body length of 150 cm, and are said to have lived around Peru. Their beaks were much longer than those of modern penguins, and it is assumed that they ate fish by stabbing them. From around this time, the world’s ocean currents began to change, and the penguin’s ecology began to change.

penguin modoki

From 30 million years ago to 17 million years ago, a penguin called Penguin Modoki lived in North America and Japan. The body length was said to be 200 cm. The cause of their extinction is unknown, but it is thought to be due to an increase in carnivores.

The emergence of a species similar to modern penguins

This is a rather long introduction, but a species called Lucas’s murre and great auk, which are quite similar to modern penguins, arose 15 million years ago. They probably diverged from murrelets or murres, which were around until 100,000 years ago. Great auks have been around since the 1800s until recently. The great auk is a penguin that lived in the northern hemisphere, and was preyed upon by Europeans and became extinct.

Lives only in the southern hemisphere

And the modern penguin was born and continues to this day. Although penguins currently live only in the southern hemisphere, they have previously been found in the northern hemisphere as well. In other words, penguins are by no means exclusive to the southern hemisphere.

Introducing the types of penguins

The introduction is quite long, but I would like to introduce modern penguins. There are 18 species of penguins in 6 genera, all of which are designated as endangered species. If you knew everything, you would be Dr. Penguin. I will summarize them in a table and present them in a list. You can see that there are many different types in New Zealand.

Namegenus namehabitat area
コウテイペンギン(Emperor Penguin)Aptenodytes コウテイペンギン属南極大陸
キングペンギン(King Penguin)Aptenodytes コウテイペンギン属南大西洋、インド洋
アデリーペンギン(Adelie Penguin)Pygoscelis アデリーペンギン属南極大陸
ジェンツーペンギン(Gentoo Penguin)Pygoscelis アデリーペンギン属南極大陸
ヒゲペンギン(Chinstrap Penguin)Pygoscelis アデリーペンギン属南極大陸
ガラパゴスペンギン(Galapagos Penguin)  Spheniscus フンボルトペンギン属ガラパゴス諸島
ケープペンギン(African Penguin)Spheniscus フンボルトペンギン属南アフリカ
フンボルトペンギン(Humboldt Penguin)Spheniscus フンボルトペンギン属チリ
マゼランペンギン(Magellanic Penguin)Spheniscus フンボルトペンギン属南アメリカ太平洋岸 
フィヨルドランドペンギン(Fiordland penguin)    Eudyptes マカロニペンギン属ニュージーランド
シュレーターペンギン(Erect-Crested Penguin)Eudyptes マカロニペンギン属ニュージーランド
スネアーズペンギン(Snares Islands Penguin)Eudyptes マカロニペンギン属ニュージーランド
マカロニペンギン(Macaroni Penguin)Eudyptes マカロニペンギン属南極大陸
ロイヤルペンギン(Royal Penguin)Eudyptes マカロニペンギン属南極大陸
イワトビペンギン(Rockhopper Penguin)Eudyptes マカロニペンギン属南大西洋、インド洋、フォークランド諸島
キンメペンギン(Yellow-Eyed Penguin)Megadyptes キンメペンギン属ニュージーランド
コガタペンギン(Little Penguin)Eudyptula コガタペンギン属ニュージーランド、オーストラリア
ハネジロペンギン(White-flippered Penguin)Eudyptula コガタペンギン属ニュージーランド

コウテイペンギン(Emperor Penguin)

The emperor penguin is the largest penguin and is also called the emperor penguin. It is adapted to the harshest environment on earth, Antarctica. They are 100cm to 130cm long and live in Antarctica, eating squid and krill. It is the largest and most robust of all penguin species.

キングペンギン(King Penguin)

King Penguin is also called King Penguin. The second largest penguin, with a body length of 85cm to 95cm, it forms colonies (breeding grounds) on Kerguelen Island, Crozet Islands, Prince Edward Islands, Marion Island, Heard Island, and Macolini Island in the relatively warm subantarctic region. make a living. King penguins live in colonies and nearby beaches.

アデリーペンギン(Adelie Penguin)

Adelie Penguin should be familiar to Japanese people. This is because it is the motif of JR’s Suica. It has a distinctive white eye ring around its eyes and a two-tone black and white color scheme, and is found mainly in Antarctica.

ジェンツーペンギン(Gentoo Penguin)

Gentoo Penguins live around Antarctica. Eyes are brown. It is characterized by a white eye ring that resembles a bear. Gentoo penguins have excellent diving ability, with an average diving time of 2.5 minutes and an average diving depth of 80 m.

ヒゲペンギン(Chinstrap Penguin)

Chinstrap Penguin is a type of penguin that is characterized by a whisker-like pattern under its chin. It is 70-76cm long and lives in Antarctica. The body is dark blue and the cheeks are white.

ガラパゴスペンギン(Galapagos Penguin) 

Galapagos Penguin is a penguin that lives only in the Galapagos Islands. It is very small, with a body length of 50 cm and a weight of only 2 kg. Galapagos penguins are rare among penguins and live in tropical regions just below the equator. It is characterized by a thin white line from the eyes to the chin and a black band around the chest.

ケープペンギン(African Penguin)

The African Penguin is Africa’s only penguin, living in South Africa. This penguin lives in relatively warm areas and can live with humans. This medium-sized penguin is distinctive for its pink eyes and black legs. You often see it in illustrated books and reports.

フンボルトペンギン(Humboldt Penguin)

The Humboldt Penguin is a penguin that lives in western South America, where the Humboldt Current flows. They are characterized by a thin white line on their head and a thick black line between their neck and chest, and because they live in relatively warm areas, they can be said to be easy to live with humans.

マゼランペンギン(Magellanic Penguin)

The Magellanic Penguin is said to be the penguin discovered by Magellan, the navigator who circumnavigated the world. It is a medium-sized penguin with a body length of about 65 to 70 cm. Unlike other Humboldt penguins, it has two black lines on its chest.

フィヨルドランドペンギン(Fiordland penguin)

Fiordland penguin A penguin with a crest that can only be found in the fjords, Auckland Islands, and Stewart Island. The crest is similar to that of a snares penguin, but there is a white line on the cheek.

シュレーターペンギン(Erect-Crested Penguin)

The Erect-Crested Penguin is a penguin that lives in the Bounty Islands, Auckland Islands, Macquarie Island, etc. It is a penguin with a body length of 65 to 70 cm and a very distinctive yellow crown feather.

スネアーズペンギン(Snares Islands Penguin)

The Snares Islands Penguin is a penguin that can only be seen on Snares Island. Their body length is 51 to 61 cm, and Snares Island itself is an island that only researchers can visit, so the general public cannot even touch it.

マカロニペンギン(Macaroni Penguin)

The Macaroni Penguin is a medium-sized penguin that lives in the southern part of Chile, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. Its most distinctive feature is the yellow crown that grows from the middle of its forehead. Macaroni refers to the style of macaroni that was popular in modern England.

ロイヤルペンギン(Royal Penguin)

The Royal Penguin is a penguin that lives on Macquarie Island, Australia and New Zealand, and unlike the macaroni penguin, it has a white face. Also, the body is slightly larger than the macaroni penguin, so it is a different species.

イワトビペンギン(Rockhopper Penguin)

The Rockhopper Penguin has not only yellow crest feathers, but also black crest feathers. There are subspecies, such as the eastern rockhopper penguin and the southern rockhopper penguin. It moves in a special way by jumping from rock to rock.

キンメペンギン(Yellow-Eyed Penguin)

The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is also called the Yellow-Eyed Penguin. It lives in New Zealand, and its main characteristic is that it has a bright yellow head.

コガタペンギン(Little Penguin)

Little Penguin, also known as Fairy Penguin or Blue Penguin, is the most popular penguin in the world. They are very cute as they are only 30cm long. Little penguins can be found in Australia and New Zealand.

ハネジロペンギン(White-flippered Penguin)

The White-flippered Penguin is a subspecies of the Little Penguin. The difference is that the edges of the wings are white and the white-bellied penguin is slightly larger. They are also very small penguins, only about 40cm long. It can only be seen on Banks Peninsula and Motonau Island.

Can penguins be kept?

Can penguins be kept freely? The hurdles for penguins are very high compared to dogs and cats. If you are interested, please keep the following conditions in mind. Another condition is to secure a veterinarian. There are very few doctors who treat penguins.

The condition is that there is a good breeding system.

You will need a large facility where you can entrust the penguins. You’ll need a large pool, water filtration, fish such as krill, and even burrows. Moreover, emperor penguins and other animals live in the cold Antarctic continent, so they need equipment that allows them to be kept at room temperature. The hurdles are quite high.

How to get a penguin

Getting a penguin is not easy. Most penguins are listed as endangered species, and trade is restricted under CITES. However, only “international transactions” are regulated. If it’s in your country, you can have it transferred to you from an aquarium or zoo and raise it there.

How much does a penguin cost?

If you were to put a price on a penguin, how much would it cost? This is not easy as most of them are designated as endangered species. Emperor penguins and king penguins cost about 10 million yen each. You can buy Humboldt penguins and Cape penguins for less than 1 million yen.

How long does a penguin live?

The lifespan of a penguin is approximately 15 to 20 years. In captivity, they have no natural enemies and are well-controlled and disease-free, so they tend to live quite long lives, with some cases living for nearly 30 years. There is no doubt that a great deal of determination is required.

Be careful with the beak

Penguins have beaks. This beak is very hard, so a bite can be quite painful and cause blood to bleed. Also, be aware that white-bellied penguins and little penguins are very ferocious and aggressive, so they may attack you until you get used to them, so be careful.

Recommended is the Humboldt penguin genus.

The recommended species is the Humboldt penguin. Cape penguins, Humboldt penguins, Magellanic penguins, etc. live in relatively warm areas, so they can easily adapt to the environment in which humans live. Some families keep them together with cats and other pets. Please refer to the article below for breeding equipment.



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