Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Penguin, any bird of the family Spheniscidae, with three genera - Spheniscus, Ecdyptes, and Aptenodytes - from the Antarctic and South Temperate regions. The body is elliptical, the head small, and the neck and bill moderately long. These birds are eminently aquatic, and when on land assume a nearly vertical position in walking or running. The wings are without quills, and are covered with short, scale-like feathers, which, in moulting, "flake off like the shedding of the skin of a serpent." The wings are, of course, functionless for flight, bat make admirable swimming organs. The plumage, which covers the whole body, and is not disposed in feather-tracts, is black above and white beneath, with some white or yellow markings on the head and neck. The flesh is made by sailors into what they call, from the flavour, "hare soup," and the plumage of the head and neck is used by furriers for collars. Among the largest and best known species are the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicd), and the King Penguin (A. longirostrti).