Penguins are one of the world’s most well known, popular and sociable little creatures, and today is one of their days (The other being 25th April which is World Penguin Day).
Famous for their strange colouring, adorable walk, and the ability to come in literally all shapes and sizes, both adults and children can see a variety of penguins in zoos across the world.
One of the most famous zoos in the UK for penguins is Edinburgh Zoo, and these little birds are some of the most spoilt in the world, with the biggest outdoor penguin pool in Europe; a pool that is over 65 metres long and containing 1.2 million litres of water. The outdoor penguin pool has a selection of sandy beaches and rocky areas which provide diversity for the penguins, which is great for their feet.
The largest species of penguin is the Emperor penguin, which can grow as heavy as 90 lbs, whereas the smallest species is the fairy penguin, weighing in at a tiny 2 lbs. There are a total of eighteen discovered species of penguin.
Edinburgh zoo is also home to the world famous Penguin Parade, a gorgeous little activity that occurs every day at or around 2:15pm. It is situated just outside the Penguins Rock pool and animal participation is completely voluntary. This means that you may get more or less penguins coming out to parade on certain days. Some days there may be no participants at all in the parade, which is a shame for visitors looking to see the parade, but acceptable all the same. These are wild animals after all.
Aside from the number of voluntary participants, the Penguin Parade is subject to local weather conditions and can be cancelled due to bad weather, storms etc. If you want to visit the zoo purely to see the parade, make sure to check your local weather forecast!
A penguin’s colouring is known as ‘countershading’, and it provides the perfect level of camouflage from both above and below when penguins are swimming in the water. Penguins can spend up to 75% of their lives at sea.
As well as the fantastic Penguin Parade, Edinburgh zoo offers a number of interactive activities, including Giant Panda viewings. The zoo is a mere 9 minutes drive from Edinburgh Airport, and it is also a 15 minute drive from the city centre. Why not hire a car and take the family for a fantastic day out?
Happy Penguin Awareness Day!