The penguin. an aquatic-flightless bird, is marked by its usual upright stance, walking on short legs, and (generally) a stark black and white plumage. This bird lives exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, except for the Galapagos Penguin. Their distinct tuxedo-like appearance is called countershading, a form of camouflage that helps keep them safe in the water. Penguins do have wing-bones, though they are flipper-like and extremely suited to swimming. Penguins are found almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, where they catch their food underwater and raise their young on land.

Penguins can spend up to 75% of their lives in the water. They do all of their hunting in the water. Their prey can be found within 60 feet of the surface, so penguins have no need to swim in deep water. They catch prey in their beaks and swallow them whole as they swim. Some species only leave the water for molting and breeding.

Penguins are social birds. Many species feed, swim and nest in groups. During the breeding season, some species form large groups, or “rookeries”, that include thousands of penguins. Each penguin has a distinct call, allowing individuals to find their mate and their chicks even in large groups.