Eating Habits of Penguins!

Ever wonder what penguins need to eat in order to continue waddling on this earth? No matter what type of penguin, all penguins are meat eaters. Penguins not only need to eat to survive, but they need it for continuous energy and to develop a layer of blubber which helps them survive when food is scarce.  


What they eat: The type of diet depends on the species of penguins, but as said before they all are meat eaters. Penguins prefer to eat krill, squids, crustaceans, and fish but when food is scarce they will eat almost anything that they can get their mouths on.


How they get their food: Penguins prefer to hunt during the day time for their food near the shoreline about 50-60 feet from the surface.They use their long and spiny tongue to quickly catch and swallow their food whole so they can get more food quickly. Female penguins will typically catch more than the male ones so that they can feed their young.

Mother penguin feeding young.



How much they eat: Penguins eat on average 20 fish per an hour when they do feed. They eat in such large amounts because the food supply can become scarce at any moment. They also eat in large amounts to develop a layer of blubber which will be their energy source when they fast.


Fasting Periods:  Most penguins fast annually during breeding and mottling seasons. The male penguin will not leave the nesting site for the entire incubation period!(This can last anywhere from 90-120 days) Most penguins, no matter the gender, also fast during mottling seasons. (This can last up to 54 days) While fasting the blubber they have developed gives them energy.


The eating habits of penguins are strange, discovering that the chubby creature fasts for such a long period of time can shock some people. The penguin lover shouldn’t worry though, penguins have survived with these eating habits and will continue to do so.


For more information of the eating habits of penguins

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