Different Penguin Species

»»Different Penguin Species

Calling all penguin lovers!

This blog is dedicated to you who are fascinated by these cute little guys and want to know more about the different species of penguins. There are 18 species of penguin, each slightly different.  Some of the species have nicknames which can cause people to think there are more than 18 species (for example the Little penguin is also known as the Blue penguin). All of the species live in the Southern hemisphere.  Many live at the South Pole on Antarctica. But some don’t live in such cold places.  They are found on the coasts of South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Galapagos Islands. The Emperor penguin is the only species that breeds and nests in Antarctica through the frigid winter.

Penguins are most familiar and recognizable birds in the world. Unfortunately, these birds are also very vulnerable to climate changes, pollution, predators, oil spills and other daily hazards. Only five of the penguin species are not endangered, vulnerable or threatened but all hope is not lost for these iconic birds. Becoming aware of the different types of penguins is the first step to be sure all penguins are protected and will help you recognize each distinct species from one another.

Types of Penguins

Even though we have states earlier there are upwards of 18 different species of penguins, they can be broken down into several groups . These groups are based on physical characteristics, genetic testing and evolvement from past penguin species. There are four main groups:

  • Large or Great Penguins
    • These are the two largest penguin species , the king penguin and the emperor penguin. Emperor penguins can weigh up to 50-90 pounds and can be as tall as 40-48 inches in height. King penguins are slightly smaller but are still far larger than the other penguin species.

  • Brush-Tailed Penguins
    • These mid-sized penguins have distinct bristled, brushy tails that are longer than most penguins which make them great swimmers. The chinstrap penguin, gentoo penguin and adelie penguin all belong to this group because of their tails. Make no mistake though, these three species are still very different and distinct.

  • Crested Penguins
    • These penguins have bushy eyebrow crests that show off how closely they are related from one another. Although, the length, density and coloration of the crests vary between species. This group contains seven individual penguin species such as erect-crested, royal, macaroni, northern rockhopper, southern rockhopper, snares and Fjiordland penguins. Occasionally, the yellow-eyed penguin will also be included in this group.

  • Banded Penguins
    • These penguins are smaller with unique body plumages (bird’s feathers) which includes bands or stripes around the breast of the birds. These penguins also are known to have minor spotting within their white underparts. The African, Magellanic,  humbodlt, and Galapagos are all part of this group.

The only type of penguin not included in a specific group is the little penguin, which is a very unique species from the others. This species may have been one of the first flightless penguins to evolve to what it is today. There is several subspecies of  the little penguin and it’s possible that if this bird species were to successfully split we may have another type of penguin. (There is never enough penguins!)

Alphabetical List of Penguins

* – listes as threatened or vulnerable due to decreasing populations

** – listed as endangered and in critical condition of becoming extinct

  1. Adelie Penguin
  2. ** African Penguin
  3. Chinstrap Penguin
  4. Emperor Penguin
  5. ** Erect-Crested Penguin
  6. * Fiordland Penguin
  7. ** Galapagos Penguin
  8. * Gentoo Penguin
  9. * Humboldt Penguin
  10. King Penguin
  11. Little Penguin
  12. * Macaroni Penguin
  13. * Magellanic Penguin
  14. ** Northern Rockhopper Penguin
  15. * Royal Penguin
  16. * Snares Penguin
  17. * Southern Rockhopper Penguin
  18. ** Yellow-Eyed Penguin
By | 2017-07-27T18:57:39+00:00 July 19, 2017|Categories: , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Recent Texas Tech graduate with a Bachelors in public relations. Ashley enjoys writing, creating graphics and watching funny puppy videos with her cat, Bill.

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