Say “penguin” and a layman would visualize the snow-covered mountains and a group of penguins huddling.
This is primarily because of the notion that we hold i.e. Only chilly climates are home to penguins..
As a result, to protect themselves from harsh chilly winds and to remain warm, they stay together in groups.
Though this is not false, a totally different scenario is also possible where these birds reside in warmer regions and try to protect themselves from overheating.
Do some penguins live in warm climates? Can penguins survive warm weather?
Yes, both warm and cold climates are home to penguins. Many penguins do thrive and reproduce in far warmer climates. Some penguins that can endure warm climates are:
1. Galapagos Penguin:
Similar to the Humboldt, African, and Magellanic species, Galapagos Penguins are well-known.
The Galapagos Archipelago, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in South America, is where these little penguins call home. These penguins have unique adaptations that enable them to endure in a heated environment.
2. Magellanic Penguin:
South America is the home of the Magellanic Penguin. They nest along the Argentina, Falkland, and Chilean Island shores. Their discoverer, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, gave them their name.
The main components of the medium-sized penguin’s diet are fish, krill, and squid. They may live up to 25 years in the wild. The incubation process and burrows used in these penguins’ nests aid in the animals’ ability to thrive in the warm climate.
3. Little Penguin (Eudyptula Minor):
Due mostly to their diminutive size, Little Penguins are also known as Fairy Penguins. The Chatham Islands, the southern coast of Australia, and the coast of New Zealand make up the species’ range.
Predators like dogs, cats, rodents, and foxes are among the most significant dangers to this species. They have been able to adapt to a hot climate because of predator control techniques.
4. African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus):
Due to the sounds they make, which are similar to braying, African Penguins are also known as Jackass and Black-footed Penguins. The south-western coast of Africa is the only place the African Penguin can be found.
These penguins hunt for fish and squid in the sea to eat. By spending the day at water, they keep cool, but at night they head back to land.
They also have another adaptation strategy to assist them to stay cool in hotter climates. When temperatures rise, blood travels to their glands, which need the air around them to cool them down.
Do penguins like to be warm?
The penguins do not like to be warm. Though they may live in warm habitats they have their own adaptations to keep themselves cold. This, in a sense, implies their preference to remain associated with cold.
Which penguins live in warm climates?
Galapagos penguin, Magellanic penguin, Little penguin, and African penguin are penguin species that live in warm climates. Their respective habitats have been mentioned in a previous section.
Can Emperor penguins live in warm weather?
The most well-known and largest species of penguins now observed is the emperor penguin, which is found in the Antarctic.
Emperor penguins in the Antarctic are attempting to adapt to the rising climate as their usual nesting habitats are being lost, claims research.
What percentage of penguins live in warm weather?
Unbelievably, fourteen different species of penguins call temperate or warm areas home. There are just four species that live in entirely cold regions.
Where do warm weather penguins live?
More than any other penguin genera, Spheniscus and Eudyptula, these two species dwell in warmer climes. The Galapagos penguin, which resides on the equator, is the furthest north of all of these.
Australia and New Zealand are home to the lone Eudyptula species. The southern coast of Africa is the only place where the African Penguin may be found.
Do penguins live in deserts? Which species of penguins live in the desert?
Yes, penguins live in deserts.
Most people wouldn’t expect to hunt for penguins in a scorching desert, yet at Punta Tombo in Argentina, hundreds of thousands of Magellanic penguins congregate each year to raise their young.
Outside of Antarctica, it is the world’s largest penguin colony.
How do penguins survive in warm weather? Penguin adaptations for warm weather:
The chilly water of the ocean is where penguins who live in warm climates always congregate.
With the help of their specifically created feathers, which are waterproof on the outside, they are also able to keep themselves cool.
They dig beautiful, cool, shady burrows far from the light where they build their homes and nests.
Additionally, penguins have a unique circulatory system.
The arrangement of a penguin’s veins and arteries allows for easy heat transfer from the outgoing blood (from the heart to the extremities) to the arriving blood in areas where there isn’t much feather coverage, like the wings and feet (from extremities to the heart).
The term “countercurrent heat exchange” refers to this mechanism.
Often, you can see a penguin keeping one or both of its wings outstretched when you look at our southern rockhoppers.
The penguin permits additional body heat to escape by exposing these highly vascularized parts.
The ability of a penguin to raise each of its individual feathers is another feathered adaption that aids in keeping it cool.
It can then raise the feathers so that the warm air trapped beneath can escape, allowing cool air to contact the skin.
Related Read: Birds Body Parts: 21 Things And Facts You Should Know
Do penguins die of heat? How do penguins prevent themselves from overheating?
Yes, penguins can die of excessive heat. Researchers from the University of Washington saw this in 2019 at one of the biggest breeding colonies for Magellanic penguins in Argentina.
The site near Punta Tombo, on the southern coast of Argentina, experienced a temperature increase on January 19 that reached 44 C, or 111.2 F, and that was in the shade.
Based on a search for remains by UW researchers in the days after the record high temperature, the team estimates that the intense heat wave killed at least 354 penguins in an article that was published on January 4 in the journal Ornithological Applications.
Penguin chicks are also susceptible to heat exhaustion. Their soft down is even better in retaining heat.
Chicks are shielded from the sun by their parents even though they are unable to thermoregulate. Their flippers are likewise lined with insulating down, unlike the adults.
In order to operate as a personal radiator, the newborns must therefore rely on their abnormally huge feet.
Juveniles have been seen literally laying like a starfish on the ground to expose their feet on extremely hot days. In fact, several species can stand in water.
Can penguins get heatstroke?
Yes, penguins could suffer from heatstroke. It was in the year 2000 that a penguin in Norway died from heatstroke. As a result, zoos were on high alert to keep an eye on the birds as they become too hot.
The aquarium has been utilizing cold water sprinklers to cool down the birds even as they are in the water in an effort to prevent a penguin overheating crisis. They are in danger if their beaks are drooping and they are breathing heavily.
The idea that all penguins require snow and ice to feel comfortable is a very widespread one.
The content above proves that the habitat of penguins and their adaptations vary across species and cannot be generalized to the entire community.
Those that live in the south pole have their own means of beating the cold while the ones who live in warmer parts tend to have developed special means of remaining cool and living up to Darwin’s principle of ‘survival of the fittest as global warming is on a rise.