What Do Penguins Eat

The penguin is a fascinating bird and the diet for a penguin will vary depending on the type of species that the penguin is. There are five different categories of penguin. These include little, great, crested, banded, yellow eyed and brush tailed. Each one will have a different diet according to its classification.

Little penguins

White-flippered Penguin
White-flippered Penguin

Penguins in this classification include the white-flippered penguin and the little blue penguin. Their diets include squid, fish and smaller sea animals. They are hunters that hunt in the shallows unlike other groups that are deeper hunters. These go less then two miles down to hunt their prey of choice.

Great penguins

King penguin
King penguin

Two of the penguins in this category are the emperor and king penguins. The diet of the emperor comprises cephalopods, crustaceans and fish. The king penguin’s diet is mainly squid, fish, krill and other crustaceans. The total diet makeup of the king penguin is 80 percent fish, until winter when the proportion of fish goes down to 30 percent. The fish of choice for penguins is usually the lantern fish.

Crested Penguins

Penguins in this group include royal, Chatham Islands, macaroni, erect crested, Fjordland, northern and southern rockhopper and snares. Their diet consists of crustaceans, squid, krill, small fish and octopus. This is a fairly large group for the penguin family.

Banded penguins

Many different species of penguin comprise this group including African, Humboldt, Galapagos and Magellan. This group feeds on krill, cuttlefish, sardines, pilchards, anchovies, small crustaceans and squid. The African adds pilchards and anchovies to their diet.

Yellow eyed penguins

The yellow eyed penguin is the only member of this classification. This group feeds on things such as arrow squid, other cephalopods and small fish. The diet of this group diet consists of 90 percent small fish.

Brush tailed penguins

This group consists of the gentoo, adelie and chinstrap penguins. Their diet is glacial squid, silverfish and Antarctic krill. Depending on where they are, their diet can consist of 15 percent up to 50 percent fish depending on where they are located.

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