All types of penguins are meat eaters and so they scan the waters to gain access to live food. What they will
consume depends on where they live and what is readily available. In many areas the food source can be scarce at
times so the penguins will consume anything they can get their mouths on in the water. They may also fight each
other over food when they once hunted as a team. These scenarios depend on how much food is available. With the
huge methods of fishing in some areas though the supply is less and less for them to live on.
The primary sources of food for penguins include krill, small fish, squid, and crustaceans. Many species of
penguins prefer to hunt near the shoreline. They will dive deeply though to find their food sources if they need
to. The depth they can go to depends on the type of penguin that is being referred to. Some of them need to surface
every couple of minutes for air. Others are able to remain under the water for up to twenty minutes so they can go
deeper. It takes up more energy though for them to dive deep to find food so they have to consume more of it this
The amount of food that a penguin consumes depends on its overall size. The larger species will generally consume
much more than the smaller ones. It also depends on the time of the year. When they are molting before mating
season they tend to consume very little of any food at all. Most of the time penguins hunt for food during the
daylight hours. Some do hunt for it at night though; especially when they supply seems to be dwindling.
Penguins have some great skills that allow them to do very well when it comes to feeding. They are fast swimmers
so they have no trouble at all catching up with their prey. They swallow the food whole too so they don’t have to
take the time to chew as they move on to another one to feed on. They also have excellent eyesight even in murky
waters. Most of the food supply for penguins is very slimy but they have spiny tongues that make it no problem.
They also have very powerful jaws attached to their bills.
One of the reasons that penguins are believed to migrate has to do with their food sources. It can change from
day to day, and so they must do all they can to adapt to such changes. They have been known to walk for great
distances in order to come to locations where they can feed from.
You will notice that penguins often consume more when food is plentiful. Not only does this supply them with
energy, it allows them to build up layers of fat. This is important as when they are breeding the are less likely
to leave their nest to look for food. They are able to survive for long periods of time from that built up fat on
their bodies. Some species such as the Emperor Penguins are known to fast for slightly over 3 months.
If you would like to explore the specific feeding information on a given species you can do so. You will find
that it varies quite a bit depending on their size. You will also notice that the same species can have different
feeding habits when it comes to their location. All penguins seem to strive to bring food back for their young.
This is often the job of the female while the male stays to care for the offspring.