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How Do Penguins Stay Warm?

Penguins spend their entire lives living on the coldest continents in the world and swimming in the coldest waters on the planet. How do penguins do this without freezing? Here are some methods that penguins use to warm up.

1. Bottom Hair

Feathers on penguins are not the everyday feathers you might expect to find in robin or Blue Jay. On the contrary, their hair is very short, delicate, and hairy. Their outer feathers are covered with a layer of oil to make it a little more water resistant. They can also release their inner fur a little to create more space for trapping warm air near their skin.

2. Subcutaneous fat

Although penguin feathers can help keep them warm while they are ashore, this does not help them much when they are in the water. Penguins actually spend about half their days in the water, and the water is usually around 25 degrees Fahrenheit. To stay warm in the water, penguins have a subcutaneous fat layer. If not known as a "blubber", it is traditionally a Mother Nature's preferred technique for keeping sea creatures such as whales, seals, and warm dolphins.

3. Tripod Techniques

Have you ever noticed that you have never seen a penguin lying on the ice? Instead, they always stand up! This is because they need to minimize the amount of surface area that touches the ice. The ice is cold, and if a penguin is lying on the ice, he will lose his whole body. In fact, penguins do not usually stand on the ice for long periods of time. Instead, they return to their heels, and use their tails to keep them in balance.

4. Huddling

If you've ever been out on a cold night with someone you love, then you may find that you can get hotter by bending together. Penguins take this concept to the extreme. To keep them warm, they'll have lots of fun together. This way they do not need to absorb all the cold air and wind by themselves. Instead, they are surrounded by other warm penguins. They take turns standing on the edge of the group.


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