How Do Penguins Survive in Their Habitats?

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There are many locations in the world where penguins can be found. They commonly inhabit countries such as South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In order to survive in their habitat, penguins must stay close to water so that they are able to feed on the sea creatures that fulfill their dietary needs.

Water

  • According to Penguin-World.Com, penguins spend most of their time, approximately three-quarters, in the water. They are able to easily adapt to the water as they are covered in feathers that enable them to move quickly while keeping the water from reaching their bodies.

Food

  • The reason penguins are found in coastal regions such as South America and New Zealand is because they must live in an environment where they can hunt for food. In order to survive, their diets must consist of fish, krill, squid and crustaceans. By living close to cold water currents, a vast majority of these foods are pulled toward them.

Homes

  • By using what they can find on land, penguins build nests and burrows. These burrows are extremely important; this is where they lay their eggs and care for their young until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Dangers

  • When their natural habitat is threatened, the upset can cause penguins to stop reproducing. This can then cause a particular species of penguin to drop rapidly in numbers. Global warming is also thought to be a danger to this species, especially those that live in the Antarctic. Deborah Zabarenko, an Environmental Correspondent, writes in her article that only "10 percent of young penguins survive the first independent trip" back to their colonies from their winter habitat. Zabarenko explains that the dwindling krill -- which is an essential part of these cold climate penguins' diets -- is the reason behind the penguins' decreased chance of survival.

Humans

  • Humans are becoming an increasing threat to the penguins' natural habitat. If the water in which the penguins hunt for their food becomes polluted, it endangers their survival. Furthermore, humans are continuing to take over land, making it more difficult for penguins to live in their natural habitat. If something isn't done to protect the penguins' habitats, it's possible they will become extinct within the next 50 years.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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