Do Penguins Have Penises?

After seeing penguins in a zoo or a TV, have you ever thought, do penguins have penises? Well, the simple answer is that penguins don’t have a penis as they are birds. Some birds like the ostrich, kiwi, and some species of duck and swan have a phallus as these birds sometimes mate in water, and a phallus ensures the sperm does not get washed away by water. As penguins mate on land, they do not have the need of a penis for reproductory purposes.

So, how do penguins procreate and expel waste from their body? It’s simple, penguins have a cloaca that they use for mating as well as waste expulsion. During the mating season, the hormones make the cloaca swell up so that it’s ready for the sexual act as and when the opportunity arises.

Both male and female penguins have a cloaca, and they have sex by aligning their cloaca and the male transfers sperm once they are in position. Once the sperm transfer is done, the cloaca retreats into the penguin’s body. Penguins might have sex multiple times a day because

Penguins Have A Cloaca Instead of a Penis

Penguins Have A Cloaca Instead of a Penis

How do Penguins Have Sex?

Having sex for penguins includes quite some mating rituals and impressing the female penguin to show that a male penguin is an ideal mate for her. Most penguins choose the same partner every year for mating unless their partner fails to make it to the mating site. The male penguins reach the mating site a week or so earlier than the female penguins.

The male penguins will then build nests made from stones, and once the female penguins arrive, they will inspect the nest by lying down in it. The male penguin also makes loud screeching sounds to impress the females to show that the male is fat enough to last the period of fasting that will be needed to hatch the eggs. The female penguin can recognize the distinct voice of her partner from other penguins every year they meet at the rookery to mate and raise chicks.

If everything is to the female penguin’s satisfaction, she will answer the male penguin’s calls with her own. The actual act of sex lasts for anywhere from 10-30 seconds, and penguins often mate multiple times a day because it’s a clumsy and challenging affair for them.

Penguins Use Their Cloaca for Most Functions Related to The Penis

Penguins Use Their Cloaca for Most Functions Related to The Penis

To initiate sex, the female penguin lies down on her belly and the male penguin lies down on top of her. The male then moves towards her bottom and the female penguin lifts up her fail to present her cloaca to the male penguin. The penguins then align their cloacas and the male transfers the sperm into the female.

The males often slide off or fall from the top of the female because holding on in that position is difficult. This is why penguins mate constantly in the mating season so that they have a better chance at conception.

The female penguins lay one or two eggs at a single time, and the male and female take turns to hatch the eggs by holding them in between their feet.


To sum up, penguins do not have a penis, but they have a single orifice called a cloaca that they use for everything from reproduction to urination and excretion of bodily wastes. It is interesting to note that male and female penguins both have a cloaca and it is often difficult to distinguish the male from the female by casual observation.

While the male penguins produce sperm in their testes, they use the cloaca to transfer the sperm to female’s cloaca where it impregnates the female leading to the formation of one or two eggs. Most penguins mate only once a year, and it is vital for them to mate multiple times a day to ensure the propagation of their species.

So, what did you think about penguins having a penis? Did all your queries get answered in this article? Do share your thoughts and views in the comment section.




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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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