Do Penguins Have Tails?

While looking at the penguin, have you seen its tail? What you think that do penguins have tails? Think about it for a minute and then look for the answer in the below article.

It is true that penguins have tails which are quite short in length and its shape looks similar to the wedge. Around 14 to 18 are the stiff tail feathers in them. Are you surprised to know this?

Penguin with Tail
Penguin with Tail

To know more surprising facts and information about the penguin tails, keep on reading the below article.

What Category of Penguins Has Longer Tails and What Are the Benefits of Tails for Them?

Now, you know that penguins have tails, but the category of the penguins like Chinstrap, Adelie, and Gentoo possess longer tails in comparison to any other species. Among all, the tails of the Adelie penguins is very long with the stiff feathers. All These penguins collectively recognized as brush-tailed penguins that use the tails for different purposes, and some of the benefits of tails are as follows:

  • They use their tails for climbing on a steep hill, or sometimes they use it as a prop while walking on the land
  • While walking on the rocks and ice, they drag the tail along with the feathers.
  • They utilize their tails as the steering under the water so that they can quickly make the hairpin turns.
  • Some penguins use the tails as a helping hand while sitting backward over their heels and also for making their toes burrowed in their feathers.
  • Nearby to the tails of the penguins, there is a gland which secretes oil. At the preening time of the Adelie penguins, they use this oil for keeping their feathers water-resistant.

Why Are Lots of Ecologists Doing Researches on the Tails of Penguins Today?

Penguins are the cute toddling aquatic seabirds that are ample in the Antarctic Peninsula. Similar to the maximum number of sea animals, they migrate to the sea at the time of winter season and get back to their peaceful breeding homes in the summertime. Environmentalists who are doing researches on the living style of penguins and their habitat are keen to know the precise place and travel paths of the penguins at the time of migration. The researches and the conservationists are doing this critical study for ensuring the safety of the penguins in the era of an ever-fluctuating environment and growing levels of pollution from the past several years.

At present, the battery-activated chasing devices work best to find these penguins. But in one of the current research, an aquatic ecologist named Michael Polito, as well as his entire team stated a non-intrusive and economical substitute which researchers have been searching for and this undisclosed weapon is the tail of the penguin.

Michael Polito tested the feathers of the tail from 2 categories of penguins: Adélie penguins and chinstrap. He utilizes an exceptional method to recognize essential amino acids (that helps in building up the proteins) in their feathers of the tail. The whole team observed that the distinctive patterns of the amino acid inside the penguin tails established on their history of location (verified with the trackers). Do you know why?

Well! The cause behind such evaluation was simple. The penguins fetch their essential amino acids from the phytoplankton that is bottommost in the food chain of aquatic animals. Since the patterns of the amino acids in phytoplankton vary according to their position in the sea, the patterns of the amino acids engraved in the penguin’s tail feathers nurturing in several sites are also dissimilar.

The complete research indicates that tails of the penguin might be utilized as simple indicators of biogeochemical since the tails could be tested in the summertime as soon as penguins get back to their breeding lands. The study will demonstrate the eating habits of the penguin, and investigators can conclude the places they eat the food. It might be a similar outstanding technique to GPS tracking, helping in the preservation of the penguins in the prospect.


So, here we reach the end of our informative article. Now if somebody asks you that do penguins have tails, we are sure that now you have the right answer with facts.

The tails of the penguins are as important as any other body part, and thus they use it for several purposes under the water or over the ground. The size of the tail varies in the different categories of the penguins. It could be very long or very short. But one thing is must, i.e., they have the tail.

Is there anything which we missed out in the above article? Then, you can tell us in the below comment box. We will revert to you at the earliest. You can also share any helpful info about the penguin’s tail, if you have any, here too.


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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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