National Penguin Day is celebrated annually in the United States on Jan. 20 to recognize the flightless birds. Scientists warn that half the population of Emperor penguins may vanish by the end of this century due to climate change. Hence, the day also gives people an opportunity to think about saving them.

Here are a few facts about penguins:

  • There are a total of 17 species of penguins and all their natural habitats are in the Southern Hemisphere. They are mostly found in Antarctic islands, the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, South Africa and Chile.
  • Emperor Penguins are the tallest ones, reaching 4 feet in length. Little Blue is the smallest among them, standing at about 16 inches.
  • Their feet are adapted to walk long distances. Some species walk up to about 60 miles across the sea ice to reach their breeding grounds.
  • Male penguins gift rocks to female penguins in order to woo them. Female penguins use these rocks to build nests.

On the occasion of National Penguin Day, here are a few interesting quotes about penguins. (Courtesy - AZ Quotes)

  • "I think penguins are the most human of all the birds, which may be why people love them. They're cute, they stand upright and they look like they're wearing tuxedos." – Shia LaBeouf
  • "Penguins are an indicator of the health of our watery planet, and if they are unable to survive, we had better take notice or we might find our own survival threatened." – Roger Tory Peterson
  • "Penguins mate for life. Which doesn't really surprise me, because they all look exactly alike. It's not like they're gonna meet a better-looking penguin someday." – Ellen DeGeneres
  • "All penguins are the same below the surface, which I think is as perfect an analogy as we're likely to get for the futility of racism." – Russell Brand
  • "If you think penguins are fat and waddle, you have never been attacked by one running at you in excess of 100 miles per hour." – Linus Torvalds

The colony of 2,500 chinstrap penguins has been gradually declining over the years The colony of 2,500 chinstrap penguins has been gradually declining over the years Photo: AFP / Johan ORDONEZ