Magellanic penguins are swift swimmers, literally flying underwater as fast as 15 mph. But instead of wings, they have powerful flippers with broad, flat, fused bones that also enable them to dive for their prey, mainly anchovies, sardines and cephalopods. Penguins get all their water from their food, but it's salty. They have a unique way of excreting this salt—they sneeze.
Maintaining a feather dry suit
Penguin feathers are small and densely packed—about 70 on a square inch of body surface. To maintain this warm, waterproof covering, they carefully clean and rearrange the feathers and preen with oil from a gland under their tail. Every year penguins replace all their feathers at once, in what scientists call a "catastrophic molt." The birds look like a down pillow that exploded.Only after they have completely replumed, a process that takes a couple of weeks, can penguins swim and hunt again.
Introducing Magellanic Penguin Chick Nia
The penguin chick nicknamed “Megatron” by her caregivers now has a real name: Meet Nia (NEE-ah)!
All in a Day’s Work: Penguin Rescue Halfway around the World
For the third consecutive year, Shedd Marine Mammals staff have helped with the daily tasks of feeding, medicating and cleaning orphaned African pe...
Meet the Penguins
From crested rockhoppers to smooth-swimming Magellanics, meet the penguins that call Shedd Aquarium home.