Are Puffins Penguins?

Have you ever got a chance to see the penguins and the puffins together? Do they look same to you? Do they have any common similarity?

There are numerous questions that people ask us related to the puffins and penguins, and one of the typical queries among them is “Are puffins penguins”?

It is true that puffins and penguins both belong to the category of birds which have alike white and black feather coloring. They both love to have fish in their meals, but they are not the same. Puffins are not penguins. There are lots of differences between the two which makes them differ. Do you want to know those differences?



Here in the below article, we will explain to you that how puffins are different from penguins with detailed info.

List of essential differences between puffins and penguins

After doing an extensive study and research, we have come across some significant and important points that make both the birds different.

So, let’s have a look!

  • The family of the birds

The family of both birds is different. They are not cousins or siblings. The penguins arrive from the family of Spheniscidae, as well as puffins originate from the family of Alcidae.

  • Flying capability

The puffins are like the birds which have the hollow bones. They are more compact and lighter. Their bones help them in flying owing to the lightweight. On the contrary, the Penguins have the solid bones, rigid wings and chubby body that do not aid them in flying but it helps them in swimming in the water. The solid bones of the penguins are vital for the less buoyancy. They mostly stay on the ground.

You must be thinking that if penguins have wings then why can’t they use them in flying?

Well! The wings of the Penguins work like the underwater paddles to push them underneath the surface of the deep inside water. It is a useful feature that aids the penguin in swimming during the migration instead of flying.

king penguins

king penguins

  • Variety and sizes of the birds

In different parts of the world, you can find four different types or species of the puffins that have the size ranges from 11 inches to 15 inches. Opposite to it, there are eighteen diverse species of the penguins in the family that comes with the extensive range of sizes ranging from 10 inches height to nearly 4 feet high.

  • The weight of the birds

You will be surprised to know that the puffin who is 10 inches tall weighs around 1.1 pounds whereas the small penguins that have the similar height will weigh approximately 2.2 pounds. It means the weight of the penguin is more than the puffin on an average.

  • Dissimilar Hemispheres

As we are aware, the earth is divided partially by the imagined contour known as the equator. All the things that are above the line of equator come under the Northern hemisphere category, whereas all the things that are below the line of the equator belong to the Southern hemisphere.

The entire four categories of puffins stay beside rocky beaches in the Northern hemisphere (around 60 percent of the puffin population lives in Iceland), whereas the complete 18 kinds of penguins live in the seashores of the Southern hemisphere (from Antarctica to South America). Both stay quite far from each other. It means that both birds are not neighbors at all.

  • Fish catching capability

Puffins have an equivalent diet that penguins eat. Generally, the diet comprises of small fishes like hake, herring, and capelin. Puffins push themselves inside the water with the help of the wings like the penguins; however, they can merely dive for around 20 seconds to 30 seconds in one single time. The puffins cannot swim deeply like the penguins, but they can carry an extraordinary amount of fish in their mouths for their other family members as well as the chicks. The tops of puffin’s mouths are enclosed with tiny spears to catch fish, and you can’t believe that the puffin can jam around 62 fishes in its beak on one time.

Final word!

So, what you think that puffins are penguins are not? We know that now you know the right answer. You are quite familiar with all the differences between the puffins and penguins which set them apart from each other.

However, there is one familiar unlucky resemblance between them, and that is the trouble in their existence. The populations of the puffins and penguins are decreasing owing to the pollution, fishing, and change in the global climate. We hope that all of you will have some initiative to save these birds from disappearing.

If still there is some point knocking in your mind regarding the above article then, please let us know. We will help you in sorting out your query soon.


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I got interested in penguins from a young age and as I grew I realized that penguins are such fascinating birds. I made it a mission to create a website where all information about penguins could be accessed in an easy to read format.

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