feeding habits

Penguins feed out at sea, primarily on squid, fish, and krill. These animals are typically located high in the water column, so penguins don't tend to dive very deep (normally within about 20 meters of the surface) nor for more than a few minutes. Smaller species of penguins primarily consume krill, small planktonic crustaceans, near the surface of the water. Larger species of penguins, such as the Emperor Penguin, tend to hunt fish and squid at lower depths. When hunting for fish, penguins rely on their visual acuity to find their pray and on their strong bills to nab it.

After hatching, a chick is fed by both the mother and father until it can hunt on its own. The parents will hunt at sea and then regurgitate food for their chick. Penguins will only feed their own offspring (which they recognize with unique calls). While away, the young penguins stay in groups watched over by other adult penguins.

Krill, a favorite treat for penguins. Credit Uwe Kils.