I’m going to resume my library posts soon (probably this weekend), but before I do, I want to write a special post about something very dear to me…
As the title has already spoiled, that something is PENGUINS.
Before I continue, I will note that contrary to popular belief, penguins are NOT my favorite thing in the world (le gasp!). I actually prefer a vast number of things to penguins – such as C. S. Lewis, musicals, England, music, libraries… the list goes on. Penguins *are*, however, my favorite ANIMAL. And thus, they do deserve at least one blog post dedicated to their objective awesomeness.
If you are a neophyte penguin enthusiast, you may think of a certain species of penguins when you think “penguin”. The most popular, undoubtedly, is the majestic Emperor Penguin, pictured below:
As you can see here, penguins can be both majestic (adult Emperors) and adorable (baby Emperor).
However, in addition to the popular Emperor, there are also Rockhoppers, Macaronis, Chinstraps, Gentoos, Galapogos, Kings, Royals, Little Blues, my personal favorite the Adelie, and more – adding up to a grand total of 18 different species of penguins, as depicted below:
Each type is beautiful in its own unique ways.
You probably know at least the basics about penguins from documentaries, zoos, and the like – and so in this post, I am going to share with you some specific penguin facts that I find interesting – and also a few important penguin GIFs.
Penguin Fun Facts:
- The first published account of penguins originates with Antonio Pigafetta. Pigafetta was aboard Ferdinand Magellan’s first circumnavigation of the earth in 1520 when he saw and wrote about penguins – though he originally thought them to be geese.
- The fastest species of penguin is the Gentoo Penguin – it can reach swimming speeds of up to 22 mph.
- The Linux mascot, Tux, is a penguin. Penguins are cool. Thus: Linux is cool.
- Emperor Penguins are the tallest species of penguin, standing nearly 4 feet tall. The smallest species of penguin is the Little Blue, which is only about 16 inches.
- Pittsburgh’s hockey team name is “the Penguins” – and thus, I support them and collect Pittsburgh Penguins merchandise.
- While most people associate penguins with Antarctica, they are actually much more widespread. In addition to Antarctica, Penguin populations can be found in South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and many small islands in the southern Pacific Ocean.
- The name “penguin” comes from Welsh terms – ‘pen’, meaning head, and ‘gwyn’, meaning white.
Quality Resources to Learn More About Penguins
Here are some excellent books to read if you want to learn more about penguins. I own several of these, and I have read all of them (except the coloring book… but I included that here just for fun. I do want one).
- Penguins: The Ultimate Guide
- The Penguin Lessons
- Penguin Coloring Book For Adults
- Penguins of the World
Notable Penguins in Fiction
Clearly, penguins need more representation in literature, film, and other mediums. Maybe I’ll write my own penguin story someday. But for now, here are three of my very favorite penguins in fiction:
- Zidgel, Midgel, Fidgel, and Kevin, 3-2-1 Penguins
- Captain Cook and Greta, Mr. Popper’s Penguins
- Frobisher, Doctor Who Big Finish audio dramas
My Top 5 Favorite Penguin GIFs:
And finally, here are five essential penguin GIFs. Enjoy.
In summary: Penguins are fascinating animals, for many reasons. While I have numerous interests that far surpass that of penguins, they are still easily my favorite animal.
Penguins are decidedly cool – and not just because many of them live in Antarctica.