Penguins! Do you know, there are several different types of penguins in the world, not just what we watch on our television or shows on a daily basis?! Yes, you heard us right! Amongst those we watch, most of them are different from each other. Penguins have always been among the most fascinating birds to humans, given their appearance, looks, and unique characteristics.

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Today, let us know all about these different types of penguins, their species and characteristics, and more!

Where Do Penguins Live?

Before we learn about all types of penguins famous globally, let us first introduce their origin and species. Penguins belong to the family Spheniscidae, which belongs to aquatic, flightless birds. They are popular birds in cold climatic regions, specifically native to the southern hemisphere. Many believe that the penguins originated near Antarctica’s temperate zones. However, besides Antarctic penguin species, few also suggest that they may have originated in and around Australia and New Zealand zones too. However, the majority of the population of penguins are found near these countries, besides others such as Chile, Angola, South Africa, etc.

There are around 17 species of penguins in the Southern Hemisphere, where most types of these birds currently reside in Antarctica.

What are the Different Types of Penguins are There:

Now let us go ahead and explore the list of most common types of penguins names, pictures and their species identification facts.

1. African Penguin:

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African Penguin looks quite unique and cuter than its other variants, and unlike most birds, it is not found in heavy cold temperate zones. These penguins are covered in white, black, and grey waterproof feathers and are primarily located on the African coast. They have a sharp and very pointed beak and are among the very smallest in size compared to other species. Their height ranges from around 24 to 27 inches, and they can weigh anywhere around 4-11 pounds. The lifespan of these penguins is about ten to fifteen years. They belong to demersus species.

2. Northern Rockhopper Penguin:

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These Northern rockhopper penguins belong to Eudyptes moseleyi and look quite unique to most of the other species. They are primarily found in South Atlantic or Islands in temperate Indian oceans. They weigh around 5 kg in the beginning stage and can grow later on. The lifespan of northern rockhopper penguins also is about ten to twelve years. These birds are famous for their curiosity. Unfortunately, significantly less research is conducted on them, given their presence in uninhabited islands.

3. King Penguin:

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King penguins belong to Aptenodytes patagonicus species. They are originated from the frozen cold zones of southern Atlantic Islands and ocean areas. These birds are among gorgeous species, with a yellowish-brown shade of beak and neck. King penguins are also the second largest species of penguin. King penguins can even live up to 26 years in suitable conditions. Their size reaches up to 35 inches and can weigh around 37 pounds too.

4. Adelie Penguin:

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The Pygoscelis adeliae species penguin, Adelie penguin, are super cute that you can’t stop seeing them! They are present and are native to the Antarctica regions. However, they are recently threatened by hunters too. They are medium in size, weighing around 4-6 kg, and 70 cm tall. These penguins have a white ring around the eyes that helps us distinguish them from other species. These mainly breed in springs, building nests with pebbles on a dry area. They are excellent long-distance walkers and swimmers too!

5. Fairy Penguin:

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The Eudyptula minor species Fairy penguin are also popularly known with another name – the little southern penguins. As the name suggests, they are found on the southern coasts of the island of New Zealand. They are among the smallest of penguins species on the planet and can be distinguished with blue eyes and feathers. They grow up to 33 cm in height and 42 in length. Unfortunately, their lifespan is only six years.

6. Yellow Eyed Penguin:

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Yellow-eyed penguins, belonging to M Antipodes species, are among the ones that are in the thread of extinction. They are present in Hoiho and Tarakaka in New Zealand, and fewer than 3400 of these birds are present on the planet right now. As the name suggests, they have pale yellow eyes and black feathers. They are around 22-30 inches in length and up to 19 pounds weight. Usually, they live up to 20-23 years.

7. Chinstrap Penguin:

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The chinstrap penguins, in species of Pygoscelis antarcticus are native to regions of Antarctica, the Pacific, and Indian ocean islands. As the name suggests, the chinstrap penguins have a cap look in black plumage on top of the head, with a white face. The black feathers extend to both hands. Their height is up to 30 inches, and they can weigh around 7-12 pounds. They can live up to 15-20 years.

8. Magellanic Penguin:

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The Magellanic penguins, in species Spheniscus magellanicus, look very similar to African penguins. However, they come with a dark jet black neck stripe covering all over. These penguins are primarily native to the southern coasts of South America. They live up to 20 years old, height up to 60-75 cm and weighing around 3-5 kg. with their populations reducing year by year, they are seen as getting near extinction.

9. Southern Rockhopper Penguin:

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Just like northern rockhopper, there is the species Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome, for southern rockhoppers. However, they don’t have any patch near their peaks, distinguishing them from others. They are tiny-bodied penguins, with a height around two feet and weighing only a few pounds. Their average life span is only around ten years too.

10. Macaroni Penguin:

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Belonging to the Eudyptes Chrysolophus, the macaroni penguins are among the most popular birds in the world in the penguin family. Macaroni species is relatively abundant globally, with over 24 million birds around. Their colonies, in fact, includes several regions like Australia, Antarctica, South America, and Marion Islands. Their height can reach up to 28 inches and can weigh up to 12 pounds. They are tall and heavy birds!

11. Australian Little Penguin:

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As the name suggests, the Australian little penguins live in the country’s southern coast, around Tasmania, and smaller numbers in New Zealand too. They belong to Eudyptula novaehollandiae. They are again among smaller-sized penguins, with a height of around 33cm. Their life span ranges to about six years only.

12. Emperor Penguin:

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The Aptenodytes forsteri emperor penguins are among the world’s tallest species of birds. They are large and tall, belong to the native from Antarctica. They reside in sea ice regions and do not, in fact set foot on land at all. These ones can reach up to 100 cm in length and are very heavy too indeed, with over 30-45 kg. Their life span is around 20 years.

13. Snares Penguin:

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The snares penguin of Eudyptes robustus, belongs to islands around New Zealand regions. They breed around Snares island, and hence the name. However, they move in small groups like other penguins are observed only in the limited areas around these Islands. They have a yellow crest, with around 50-70 cm length and over 3-4 kg weight. Snares penguins can live up to 10-12 years.

14. Galapagos Penguin:

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The Galapagos Penguin of Spheniscus mendiculus, lives around the regions of the equatorial Galapagos archipelago. They are the northernmost species, however smaller in size. They are also part of very few penguin birds found near Ecuador. The adult Galapagos penguin height is around 49-53cm, up to 2-4 kg weight. They can live up to fifteen to twenty years.

15. Erect Crested Penguin:

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These penguin birds belonging to Eudyptes sclateri, are native to the Islands of New Zealand. Crested have a yellow eye stripe patch, with black upperparts and white underparts. They can weigh up to 12-13 pounds and stand as tall as 26 inches. and They are long-distance swimmers known for spending a lot of time in the water. They live up to 20 years.

16. Royal Penguin:

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The royal penguins of Eudyptes schlegeli belong to the sub-Antarctic regions and islands of Macquarie. They are among the crested penguins with yellow plumes and are almost on the list of vulnerable or threatened species. Their height is up to 28 inches, and they can weigh around 7-8 kg. These penguins also live around fifteen to twenty years on average.

17. Humboldt Penguin:

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The Humboldt penguin, Spheniscus humboldti, are among the relatives of African penguins. They are native to South America, seen around the regions of Chile and coastal Peru. They have a black face, a white ring covered, and a pink skin patch just below the bill. Their height is around 28 inches, and they weigh about 13 pounds. Their lifespan is also similar to other birds, around 15 to 20 years.

18. Eastern Rockhopper Penguin:

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The Eudyptes chrysocome filholi, also as Eastern rockhopper penguins, are very similar to their southern variants. They have yellow feathers and a crested body. These, similar to southern rockhopper penguins, are found in subantarctic regions and Indian ocean islands. They have pink marking around the bill and are significantly smaller than other rockhoppers. and the weigh around 2.2-4 kg and are around 45-55 cm in length. They live up to ten years old.

19. Fiordland Penguins:

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The Fiordland penguins belong to a native of New Zealand regions, in southern islands. They are Eudyptes pachyrhynchus, and unusually like other birds, live in rain forests. They have yellow and pinkish shade beaks. These are around 24 inches in length but weigh up to only 8 pounds. These penguins live up to 10 to 20 years long.

20. Allied King Penguin:

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The Aptenodytes patagonicus halli, the allied king penguin, live around the southern islands of the Pacific and Indian ocean regions. Despite the same species, most of these penguins are pretty distinct from one another in the way they look and their sizes! These birds can grow to 30 inches and weigh up to 28-30 pounds, too, depending on the size.

21 Gentoo Penguins:

Unlike the penguins mentioned above, these are among the single species of birds with very few subspecies among them. These get their respective names from the nativity, the place they belong.

A. Falkland Island Gentoo Penguin:

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The Pygoscelis Papuagentoo penguins of Falkland are more significant than the other gentoo penguins. As the name suggests, they are habitants of the Falkland Islands. However, very few of them are also present in the Indian Ocean islands and the Atlantic ocean. These penguins are black and white in color with a regular beak like most penguins and live up to around 15 years on average.

B. Ellsworth’s Gentoo Penguin:

These gentoo penguins belong to the coast of Antarctica. They are Pygoscelis Papua ellsworthii, however, more petite than the other gentoo penguins. They have sensitive and smooth body feathers, with a white patch on their head. Their life span is about ten to twelve years, and they look tinier in creatures too.

C. Kerguelen Gentoo Penguins:

The Pygoscelis taeniata that is the Kerguelen gentoo penguins is a distinct species of bird. They may look identical to other gentoos. However, they are small gentoos. As the name suggests, these penguins are native to the Kerguelen Islands in the Southern Ocean. Few of them, however, are also habitats of Macquarie and Marion Islands.

D. South Georgia Gentoo Penguin:

The Pygoscelis papua, South Georgia’s gentoo penguin, is among the second-largest type in this Gentoo type of birds. They belong and are native to the regions of South Georgia, and however, characteristics wise look much similar and alike to the other Island Gentoo birds.

Interesting Facts about Penguins:

Do you know, there are specific facts about these lovely birds that quite an interest and amaze us. So you, too, can find out!

  • Because penguins are mainly used to live in cold temperate zones, they also move in groups to help them stay warm. Besides their body feathers, huddle together is also a technique. This also allows penguins to stay protected from predators.
  • Most penguins can really walk for very long distances. This is because their feet are adapted to this feature.
  • Gentoo penguins are considered super fast in these species of birds and the family, that they can swim even at a speed of over 35 km per hour.
  • Penguins also are excellent divers and can go very well underwater.
  • Penguins have their own distinct call. Not everyone calls alike!

We hope you enjoyed reading and exploring about these lovely birds. The different kinds and types of penguins indeed are interesting to know, given that most of us assume they all belong to the same species. Isn’t it cool? Let us know what you think about it; we love to hear from you!


About Sandeep

With a decade of experience as a content creator at Stylesatlife, sandeep brings a wealth of expertise to lifestyle writing. His articles, on fashion, beauty, wellness, and travel, reflect a passion for delivering engaging and informative content. Sandeep unique blend of creativity and meticulous research establishes him as a trusted voice in the dynamic world of lifestyle journalism.