How Do Penguins Move?

Generally, birds have two modes of transportation one is flying, and the other is walking using feet on the land. Though penguins are flightless, they have adapted three modes of transport; they are swimming underwater, walking using feet on the ground, and one more is ‘tobogganing.’

How do penguins move underwater?

Penguin’s most favorable mode of transport is swimming. They are excellent swimmers and the fastest swimmers among birds. The speed and diving depth depends on the species of penguins and the region that they are surviving. Penguins forelimbs are in the form of flippers, which doesn’t help to fly in the air, instead underwater. They use proposing a mechanism to jump from the surface of the water.

Penguin Bubble Formation Underwater

As said they are fast swimmers, they swim at a speed of 15 mph, and depth is 1,850 feet. They swim under deep water to hunt their prey. They produce a stream of bubbles from their bodies, which helps to reduce drag in the water.

How do penguins walk on the land?

On land, penguins are very slow. Their legs are short, but strong which have webbed feet with visible claws. Compare to other beings; penguins utilizes twice the energy for walking. Their webbed feet help the penguins to walk in an upright position.

Penguins March on Land

Their walking style is like a waddle, which means walking in short steps carrying a fat body. Their waddling helps them to walk comfortably on land. Rockhopper penguins, as the name says, these penguins hop and climb the rock. They walk at a speed of 1 or 2 km per hour. Emperor penguins can walk about 80-100 miles. This mode of movement doesn’t help the penguins to move quickly from the predators.

How do penguins toboggan?

Toboggan is sliding over the ice using flippers and feet and push themselves to move forward. It is the third way of transport that penguins adapted. Tobogganing helps the penguins to move quickly on the land.

Penguins Tobogganing

During the breeding season, penguins have to travel miles together; this time, they use tobogganing to reach their destination quickly. Tobogganing is several times speedier than walking. They use this transport mode even to escape from predators.


Penguins have different adaptation based on their habitat style. Since they adopted the marine lifestyle, they have to survive in the islands. Swimming, walking, and tobogganing is the mode of transportation help the penguins in movement from one place to another.


Image Source: 1 2 3


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.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: