Quiz: Brush Up on Your Penguin Facts

They're social -- hanging out in often enormous gatherings -- and happy-looking creatures, so naturally we humans love penguins! What do you know about these odd but lovable, flightless birds? Get the basic facts about penguins in this quiz. See if you can score a perfect 10!
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Question 1 of 10
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  • Northern
  • Southern
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The Southern hemisphere wins the penguin population census. It's tempting to think penguins mostly hang out in Antarctica, but they're actually all over the lower half of the planet, and further north than you might guess. From islands in the South Pacific, to Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa, you can find penguins making a living. There are even three species that call places as far north as the Galapagos Islands home.
  • Penguins inhabit both hemispheres equally.
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  • Gentoo
  • Emperor
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The Emperor penguin is the largest of the species, weighing in at around 75 pounds (34 kilograms) and standing about 3 feet 7 inches tall (109 centimeters). Larger penguins like this one tend to inhabit colder climes because their size helps them retain heat.
  • Royal
  • King
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  • A long search for scarce food.
  • The hatching of eggs.
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: While the mom and dad of most penguin species take turns keeping the egg of their newborn warm, in the Emperor species, the father has the most grueling task. He will stand with the new egg under his feet for about two months, without food, feasting on his own body fat store, until the chick hatches. He'll drop about 50 percent of his weight during this time. Once the chick hatches, the mom returns so the stark-raving hungry papa can head out to sea for a well-deserved meal.
  • A swim to the Galapagos Islands from the South Pacific.
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  • Little Blue
  • Humboldt
  • African
  • Yellow-eyed
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The yellow-eyed penguin is considered the rarest of the species, with only about 1,500 breeding pairs in existence.
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  • 15-20 years
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: It will vary a bit by species, but generally a wild penguin can live from 15 to 20 years or so.
  • 3-5 years
  • 1-3 years
  • 7-10 years
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  • no more than 5 minutes
  • 15 to 20 minutes
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The Emperor penguin can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes
  • 1-2 hours
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  • krill
  • fish
  • squid
  • all of the above
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Penguins eat krill, fish, squid and other types of marine life they can fetch while underwater.
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  • Macaroni
  • Chinstrap
  • Blue
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The Blue penguin is the smallest. It's about 16 inches "undertall" (41 centimeters) and weighs a bit more than 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms).
  • Rockhopper
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  • 7-9 mph (11 to 14 kph)
  • 3-5 mph (5 to 8 kph)
  • 15 to 20 mph (24 to 32 kph)
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Penguins are flightless birds that use their "wings" instead as flippers. They're terrific swimmers and can zoom through the ocean at 15 to 20 mph (24 to 32 kph).
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  • land
  • sea
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Penguins are very nearsighted on dry land, but underwater their vision really comes to life. They have to be on the lookout for some of their primary predators: leopard seals and killer whales.
  • They see equally well in and out of the water.
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