The STEM Way

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The STEM Way

How do penguins stay warm?

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Did you know penguins are just like people with a normal body temperature of about 100 degrees F.

Emperor penguins are one kind of penguins that stay in extremely cold conditions where temperatures go way below zero !

So how do they stay warm in the icy frozen Antarctic?

A thick layer of fat

Penguins have an extra layer of fat under their skin called “blubber” which protects them from the cold.

Super tightly packed Overlapping feathers

Penguins have a looooottt of feathers! These tightly packed feathers cover the penguin completely and create a coat that is both windproof and waterproof !

They coat their feathers with oil from a gland near the tail to make them even more waterproof . The oil keeps away the cold water

Waterproof feathers are so important because they spend so much time in water .. diving and chasing fish to eat.

Huddle together

Large groups of penguins sometimes As many as 5,000 penguins will huddle together, in a big circle to stay warm in the middle of winter.

The ones in the center would obviously be the warmest and the ones outside be the coldest so there is a continuous moment of penguins shuffling from the outside to the middle.

What about the baby penguins ?

A baby penguin would not be able to survive by itself in these extreme frozen conditions.

After the mom lays the egg she passes it to the dad who keeps it safe between his feet in a special feathered pouch. She then goes to catch fish. During this time the father penguin protects the egg though the long winter without even stopping to eat for 2 long months.

When the mom comes back she takes the egg into her pouch while the dad goes to the ocean to find food and eat.

When the chick hatches the mom feeds it food she brings up into her mouth.

Young penguin chicks also huddle together to keep warm when left behind on the sea-ice by the mom and dad  who have to go and catch some fish for them.



Activity: Penguin Maze! Help the mother penguin find her way back to the dad and baby penguin!

Ages: 4-6

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Test your knowledge on penguins!



Best Books to learn more about penguins:

 In Explore My World Penguins, curious kids ages 3 to 7 will be excited to learn about the delightful world of penguins: the extreme lengths they go to to care for their young and the relationship between baby penguins and their parents.

  Can you imagine spending the winter outdoors in Antarctica without anything to eat? That’s just what the male Emperor penguin does. While his mate is off swimming and catching loads of fish, he stands around in the freezing cold with an egg on his feet for two whole months, keeping it warm and waiting for it to hatch. Welcome to the story of the world’s most devoted dad!

In this simple, rhyming picture book, the youngest readers will learn about penguins. This is the perfect read-aloud for teachers and parents to share with young children as they imagine what life as a penguin is like!

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