Unlike the ugly pigeon or noisy , penguins are almost universally adored for their cuteness and friendly perception. While decades of movies and popular culture have helped fuel this adoration, there are many more simple yet interesting facts about the penguin that make them so appealing to us.
1. Penguins only live in the Southern Hemisphere
While some people are mistaken and believe that penguins live in both the north and south poles, in reality penguins can only be found on the bottom half of the earth. While the most popular penguins today are Antarctica based species (i.e. the emperor penguin), there are actually a good number of penguin species that live further north in warmer climates, with some even found near the equator (but never beyond into the Northern Hemisphere).
2. Penguins camouflage with their unique color pattern
The black and white color pattern of most penguins is for more than just a "tuxedo" look. Their unique design helps them camouflage from both directions. When swimming in the water, their white side helps them blend in with the bright reflective surface of the water so that predators from below have a harder time seeing them. On the other side, their black backs blend in with the darker look of the water as seen from the surface.
3. Penguins are social creatures, often feeding, swimming, and nesting in groups.
While there are some species of penguins that are an exception, the majority tend to be very social in their lives. They will often form communities around hunting and swimming together. In addition, penguins typically return to the site at which they were born in order to nest, creating large nesting groups and communities.
4. Penguins in the wild are not afraid of humans
As many researchers and tourists have discovered, the majority of penguins do not show any fear of humans, and are often very curious around them. The main reason for this lies in the fact that, for most penguin species, their major predators all reside in the sea. As a result, they are unused to facing danger on land, making humans little more than an odd visitor.
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