We usually picture penguins as enjoying perpetual winters, preferring snow and colder climates. Movies depict them as arctic dwellers, laying eggs in the snow and going on whirlwind adventures that involve elephant seals and orca whales. However, the actual distribution of the different species of penguins is a little more varied. While almost all species of penguins are habituated in the Southern Hemisphere, many species prefer temperate climates, such as those in the Galapagos Islands and South Africa. In fact, penguins of a large variety of shapes and sizes have been around for millions of years. Here are 20 fascinating living and extinct penguin species.
1. King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)
King penguins are the second-largest species of penguins and are under the same genus as Emperor penguins. They are spread across the South Indian and South Atlantic Ocean, namely on Kerguelen Islands, Crozet Island, Prince Edward Islands, Heard Island, McDonald Islands, and Macquarie Island.
2. Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri)
Emperor penguins are the heaviest and largest living species of penguins. They are evenly distributed across all ends of the coast of the Antarctic continent.
3. Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)
These are also the most widely spread penguins, along with Emperor penguins, and are found all across the Antarctic Coast.
4. Chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis Antarctica)
This penguin is found all across the various shores and islands in the Southern Pacific Ocean and the Antarctic Ocean.
5. Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis Papua)
Gentoo penguins breed and reside in several places across the Antarctic Ocean such as Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands, and the Kerguelen Islands. Smaller colonies can be found on Macquarie Island, South Shetland Islands, Heard Islands, and across the Antarctic Peninsula.
6. Little Penguin
This little guy is also known as the Fairy Penguin or fairy blue penguin. They are found along the coasts of New Zealand and Australia, with some that can be found in Chile.
7. White-flippered penguin (Eudyptula minor albosignata)