From the Equator to the South Pole, These Penguins Adapt and Survive
by Jacqueline Zuniga Paiz, age 13
It is commonly known that penguins live in cold environments. But did you know that they can also thrive in warm climates?
Penguins survive in rising temperatures of the Southern Hemisphere. They can be found scattered around the southern half of the globe in places such as South America, Australia, New Zealand, and in the heat of South Africa.
To deal with higher heat, some penguins have patches of bare skin that help them cool off. These birds also rest in burrows, or leap into the sea to help shed heat. Because penguins can be found in a variety of climates, they have to be able to survive in both hot and cold temperatures.
People who live in New Zealand and Australia are not surprised when they see penguins camping and building their nests near houses or along shores. These penguins are known as Little Penguins.
Little Penguins measure about 14 inches in height and are the smallest penguin species recorded. Their characteristics are usually described as timid and shy, but they boldly favor building their nests around humans, underneath beach houses and on coasts. Their ability to live among humans is a simply marvelous sight.
Other than the Little Penguin, not many types of penguins are able to survive in highly populated places. Almost all penguins prefer to live in isolated areas like remote islands. Most penguins are not accustomed to defending themselves against predators. So they live where other animals, like wild dogs and cats, are not present. Penguins find it difficult to coexist with these comparably larger animals.
Not all penguins are found living in the chill of the poles; the Little Penguin is one of nine penguin species able to survive in much warmer areas. It may be the smallest of penguins, but it is also a tough survivor.
[Sources: 100 Things You Should Know About Penguins; World Atlas]