Are there Penguins in the Arctic?

Several people who went on the trips to the European Arctic, the common questions that they come across are “are there penguins in the Arctic?”

While traveling through the Spitsbergen, Greenland, Scotland, or Norway, you cannot get a chance to see the penguin at all as their home is nearby to 19,000 kilometers far in the region of Antarctica. The penguin does not live in the Arctic region.

Ice Penguin

Ice Penguin

It is right that both places, i.e., Arctic and Antarctica comprises of ice and also possess the same climates, then why do the penguins don’t exist in the Arctic region?

In the below article, we will investigate that why there are no penguins in the Arctic and besides answering the question in detail, we will share some useful info about the same topic here.

So, let’s begin!

Evolution of Penguins in the Southern Hemisphere

As we told you, that penguin does not live in the Arctic region owing to the natural adaption and growth of the seabird. Most of us consider the Arctic and Antarctica as the similar place but the species that have developed in a particular environment from past several years naturally adapt to that place.

In the European Arctic region, the main predators compete and fight against each other regularly. Moreover to the polar bears as the predator in the food chain, there are so many animals that might relish eating the penguins in their meal like wolves, stoats, skuas, foxes, and mink. On the contrary, there are decidedly fewer predators in the Southern Hemisphere and penguins don’t have to fight much for their survival.

The species of penguin, as well as polar bear, have developed at their particular Earth’s end and there is a considerable barrier which stops them from gathering and, i.e., equator. Both of them have natural adaptation to the icier climates, and they can’t survive in the humid and hot journey for meeting each other at the opposite pole.

Even though all penguins are initially instinctive to the southern hemisphere, but they not only found in the icy climates. There are very few penguins that live far in the Antarctica region.

Were there any penguins in the Arctic earlier?

You will be surprised to know that various species of the penguins lived in the Arctic region for some time by the research groups. But in the 19th century, owing to the several predators the penguins were not able to save their eggs form them in the nest and it makes them vanish soon after few years.

Penguins Birds Arctic

Penguins Birds Arctic

Correspondingly, there was a time when a penguin of the Northern hemisphere was present that was known as the Great Auk that turns out to be extinct in the year 1844. In reality, the word ‘penguin’ arrives from the scientific word for Great Auk, i.e., Pinguinus impennis.

Great Auk was not the official species of penguin, but it has incredible resemblances to the current penguin; very active inside the water, flightless, and gawky on the surface. This seabird was continuously at threat from humans stealing its eggs and museums requiring samples for assortments. Also, the Great Auk becomes the main menu food for numerous Arctic hunters at this time.

The destiny of the Great Auk is undoubtedly miserable, emphasizing a period when human civilization didn’t correctly respect the empire of animals. So, now with the changing time, the current fact is that there is no penguin in the Arctic region and you will never get to see them there.

Conditions for the Tropical penguins

Due to the climate variations at both ends of the equator, lots of animals are migrating from their natural habitats. In reality, in recent times Canadian researchers discover a polar bear that crossed with a pizzly bear called grizzly. Their migration shows that temperature variations and food scarcities are compelling the polar bears to travel from south to the more moderate weathers.

The polar bears might not survive in such conditions in lack of evolution or the breeding with current species. On the other hand, we previously watch this in the world of the penguin with numerous species creating their home in extratropical atmospheres. Any animal can’t survive for more time in any place that is not their natural habitat.

At the Galápagos Islands, the penguins easily share their home with marine iguanas and boobies, and they swim in the tropical waters nearby the islands. Such species possess an agiler covering to their Antarctic companions and also have adjusted to nesting in shacks in the surface stay secure from hunters. It’s important to tell you that the Galápagos Penguin is still managing to get adapted to the high temperatures as they do not breed in the too much warm water.

You can now find the Penguins at the off coast of Argentina, Chile, Peru, Australia, South Africa, as well as New Zealand. All these nations have much warmer conditions in comparison to Antarctica, but still, the penguins live and reproduce there. Regardless of their varied habitats, entire breeds of the penguins are sensitive to the variations in their surroundings, sea temperatures, and food accessibility, and they also decline to mate as the environments changes.

Final thought

After reading the above article, now you are familiar with the answer to the question “Are there penguins in the Arctic”?

Penguins don’t live in the Arctic as it’s not their natural habitat. The maximum number of penguins lives in the Southern hemisphere and fact; they live on every continent like Europe, Asia, North America, and South America and Australia. But the largest communities of the penguin live in the chilly region of Antarctica. Penguin is a seabird that needs the colder climate and ocean to survive, and they live their 50 % life in the sea itself. So, they need a particular environment to survive.

We hope that you like reading the above article. If still there is something which is knocking in your mind then, you may write to us in the below comment box. Besides this, you can also share your thoughts on the above topic, if any. We will be pleased to hear from you.


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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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