Penguin Awareness Day: Newsround's top 10 penguin facts

Last updated at 06:49
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A year in the life of a penguin captured on camera (January 2016)

It's Penguin Awareness Day on 20 January each year, when we celebrate our black and white feathered friends!

Unfortunately climate change is becoming a growing worry for penguins who live in Antarctica, like the Emperor and Adelie penguins.

A temperature change of just two degrees could cause massive habitat problems for these penguins.

To raise awareness of these cute creatures, here are some of Newsround's top penguin facts and jokes... Enjoy!

Lots of species
Magellanic penguinGetty Images
This is a Magellanic penguin, which lives in warmer climates, not in the Antarctic

It is thought there are as many as 17 to 20 different species of penguin.

For example, Gentoo penguins, King penguins, Adelie penguins, Magellanic penguins, Banded penguins, Emperor penguins... Phew! We could go on all day.

Penguins can't fly
Penguin in the waterGetty Images
Flippers are no good for flying - but they're great for swimming!

Penguins are birds - but even though they have wings, they can't fly.

Their wings are specially adapted for swimming.

In 1620, French explorer called Beaulieu even thought that penguins were a type of feathered fish because of how well adapted they were to life underwater!

Southern birds
penguin jumpingGetty Images

Most penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere but none live at the North Pole.

Some like it hot
Magellanic penguinsGetty Images
These Magellanic penguins are spotted taking a break in Argentina

Not all penguins live in snowy places like Antarctica. Some species like the Galapagos penguin live in warmer climates near South America.

Emperors rule

The Emperor penguin is the largest penguin, standing at more than one metre tall when fully grown.

Emperor penguinsGetty Images
These are the world's largest penguins

Unlike with many other species, it is actually the male emperor penguins who are responsible for looking after the eggs until the chicks hatch.

They are great swimmers, but aren't so nimble on the land. Emperor penguins shuffle along on their feet or slide about on their bellies.

Little fairies
Fairy penguinGetty Images
This little fairy penguin is being released back into the wild

The smallest penguin is called the fairy penguin. It is found quite commonly in Australia and New Zealand.

Cool colours

Ever wondered why they're black and white?

Adelie penguinsGetty Images
There is a very important reason that penguins are black and white

Their dark back makes them hard to see from above while they're in the water, which can help protect them from predators.

The black and white colouring also helps to hide them from predators like killer whales and leopard seals.

Walk this way

It turns out we could learn a lot from penguins, as Jenny found out.

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WATCH: Why might it be a good idea to walk like a penguin? (January 2017)
Something fishy...
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Ocean wildlife: Get a penguin's-eye view of a fishing trip!

Penguins eat a range of fish and other sea life that they catch underwater.

Funky feathers
penguinGetty Images

Penguin feathers are shorter and stiffer than most bird feathers, which makes penguins more streamlined in the water and traps more air to keep them warm.

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