Are Penguins Amphibians?
Many people may have questions about penguins, whether they belong to the category of birds or amphibians because of their lifestyle living in both land and water. Here in this article, we are going to explain about whether penguins are amphibians or not.
Let’s understand what amphibians are?
Amphibians- ‘Amphi’ means ‘on both sides’. Amphibians are small vertebrates that need water, or a moist environment to survive. In simple words, the animals that live in both land and water. For example, frogs, salamanders, toads, etc., are considered as amphibians.
Penguins also survive like amphibians, which means they lead their life both inland and water. But the real factor is they are marine birds, that are highly adapted to life within the marine (the region with water and land) environment. Penguins are flightless birds like Ostrich, Emu, etc., Instead of flying, they use their feathers for swimming.
Similarities with Birds
Penguins are members of the Spheniscidae family, which is the category of flightless birds that live in the southern hemisphere of the world. Some of their organic features are the same as other birds like having beaks, forelimbs (wings), feathers, laying eggs and incubation of eggs. They have feet like swan and duck, which are very helpful for swimming.
Dissimilarities with Birds
Penguins don’t have pneumatic bones (hollow, air-filled bones) like other flying birds, instead, they have solid bones which doesn’t help for flying. Penguins use their wings as flippers in flapping motion to swim easily and deeply. They have been recorded that they can swim as deep as 1775 ft underwater. The flapping motion of penguins underwater looks like they are flying.
Habitat of Penguins
Due to their habitat style, they are always beside the sea, where they get their food. Penguins use a flapping motion for hunting and they are carnivorous, they hunt fish, squid and other aquatic organisms underwater. Penguins spend 80 percent of their time underwater and only use coastal part as places to rest.
Amphibians vs Penguins
|Amphibian eggs are soft-shelled||Penguin eggs are hard-shelled|
|Amphibians are cold-blooded||Penguin are warm-blooded|
|Amphibians have a three-chambered heart||Penguin has a four-chambered heart|
|Amphibians respire through lungs and moist skin||Penguin respire through lungs|
|Amphibians undergo metamorphosis (changes from larvae stage to adult stage)||Penguins never undergo metamorphosis.|
|Amphibians lay 10 to 20,000 eggs at a time (depends on the subcategory of Amphibians)||Penguins lay clutches of 2 eggs at a time|
|Amphibians lay eggs near ponds||Penguins lay eggs in the ground|
|Amphibians make mud puddle nest, bubble nests||penguins made their nests using hard stones|
A final proof of this discussion is, research on penguin DNA clearly proved that they belong to the category of birds, not amphibians because it doesn’t have similarities with the DNA of amphibians.