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Types of Penguins

Emperor Penguins Food

Deep diving emperors - Emperor penguins live on squids and fish which they chase underwater and catch in their long razor – edge bills. The inside of the mouth and tongue are covered in backward – facing flesh knobs which help prevent the squid or fish from slipping out of the mouth while water is being forced out from around it. As it is, penguins, like other sea birds, swallow a considerable amount of sea water and excess salt has to be eliminated through specially enlarged tear glands.

Squids up to 3ft long are captured, and the Emperors dive as much as 180 ft to find them. Their heavy bodies probably enable them to dive so deep, while the smaller penguins fish in the surface waters.  

Penguins search for fish and squid. They also look for crustaceans, such as the tiny, shrimp like krill.

Some species spends as much as three - quarters of their time out at the sea, with the ocean full of food for them.

* The favorite food of penguins is found at different depths in the ocean. So different kinds of penguins usually dive to different depths to find the food they like best. Emperor penguins may dive 900 feet down to catch large squid.

Distance swimmers and deep - divers

All penguins eat the same basic kind of food, but some go to greater lengths than others to get it. The greatest travelers are Emperor penguins. They may stay at sea for as long as a month and travel as far as 950 miles (1,500 km) from their breeding grounds in search of food. They also perform some truly remarkable dives. One Emperor Penguin was recorded diving to 1,752 ft (532m) below the surface for meal.

Emperor Penguin feeding a chick

Baby penguins are hungry all the time; their parents must make many trips to the ocean each day to catch enough fish to feed them. At times, the parents may feed their chicks two pounds of food per hour.

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