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It's National Penguin Awareness Day, and we here at Vetstreet think there's no better way to celebrate the many species of waddlers out there than to share some cool facts about these curious creatures, who inhabit frosty (and sometimes toasty) habitats.
1. Although all penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere, they can be found in South Africa, Antarctica, the coast of South America, the Galapagos, Southern Australia and New Zealand.
2. The largest species of penguin is the Emperor, with an average length of 36 to 44 inches, while the smallest penguin species is the Little Blue, which averages 10 to 12 inches in height.
3. Penguins can swim close to 15 miles per hour — far outpacing Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, whose top speed is only around 4.7 miles per hour.
4. Penguins' waterproof feathers are tightly packed to insulate them against frigid temperatures, but they can open their feathers to feel the cold.
5. Penguins mate for life. However, the yellow-eyed penguin is so reclusive that if two pairs catch sight of one another, their breeding season will not be successful.
6. The African penguin is sometimes referred to as the jackass because this species brays like a donkey.
Our penguin facts were provided by the following: New England Aquarium, Penguin Facts and answers.com.
Click here for more Vetstreet penguin coverage.
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