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Adaptations For Marine Life, Locomotion, Social Behavior, Nesting, Maintaining Body Temperature

Penguins are primitive, flightless birds that are highly specialized for marine life. Most species look A gentoo penguin with its chick. JLM Visuals. Reproduced by permission.
rather similar, being generally dark-blue or dark-gray on top with a white belly. Some species, however, have a crest on their head and/or patches of color on their head and throat. The legs are set wide apart and the wings are used as flippers. Most species of penguin live and breed on Antarctica, on islands near that continent, or on the southern coasts of South America, Australia, South Africa, or New Zealand. Four northern species inhabit the western coast of South America, as far north as the equatorial Galapagos Islands.

Penguins have unusual and distinct characteristics, and their relationship to other orders of birds is not fully understood. In fact, scientists dispute whether penguins should have their own superorder or even subclass. However, it is generally agreed that penguins belong to the Order Sphenisciformes and the family Spheniscidae. There are six genera of penguins and 16-18 species, depending on the taxonomic treatment.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Pebi- to History of Philosophy - Indifferentism