Adélie Penguin

Tags: Antarctic, Antarctica, Birds, Ocean, Penguins

How fast can an Adélie penguin swim?

Adélie penguins are natural born swimmers. In the Olympics, the best swimmers from around the world can reach speeds of just under 5 mph, but they can’t keep it up for long. An Adélie penguin has no trouble swimming at a pace of 5 mph for hours on end, and they can sprint even faster. When predators like seals are chasing them, Adélie penguins can swim over 20 mph!

What do Adélie penguins eat?

Adélie penguins, also known as Adélies, are great divers too. They have to be, because these carnivorous birds only eat seafood. They hunt krill, squid and small fish, so they have to dive for every meal. Sometimes they dive over 500 feet deep, but they usually only have to go 30-50 feet deep to find something to eat.

Since Adélie penguins rely on the sea for food, they always stay very close to water. In fact, Adélies spend the winter months living on the offshore frozen sea ice. Adélies don’t mind living on floating blocks of ice, because they can hunt very easily. All they have to do to find food is walk a short distance and slide off an ice block into the sea. The sea ice also allows the penguins to escape predators. Seals, just like Adélies, are very good swimmers, but they can’t move very quickly on land or ice. An Adélie can often escape from a sea lion by jumping out of the water onto a large block of ice.

Adélie penguin nests

In October, Adélies travel from the sea ice back to land in order to breed. They build nests out of stones they find on rocky shorelines. Each mother lays two eggs. She and the father take turns hunting and incubating the eggs for a month. The newly hatched chicks remain in the nest for about three weeks. Soon the chicks will follow the colony back to the sea ice and learn to swim!


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