Penguin vs Puffin
Penguin and puffin are two distinct types of birds exhibiting many differences between them. However, those distinctions would be fascinating for anyone to be aware. Their natural distribution, ecology, and physical features would draw some interest for the reader. This article deals with the characteristics of penguins and puffins, and then presents a comparison between them to understand the two animals better.
Penguins are a group of aquatic flightless birds living in the Southern hemisphere. They are the distinctive inhabitants of the Antarctic continent. However, many of the penguins live in the temperate seas of the Southern hemisphere, some in Antarctica, and one species (Galápagos penguin) live close to the equator. Usually, penguins have a unique colouration with black and white bodies, sometimes with yellow as well, and their beak is generally red coloured. These specialized birds have developed their wings into flippers, so that they can use them in swimming. Penguins are carnivores, and they feed on mainly zooplankton including krill, fish, and squids. Although they live in ocean predominantly, penguins often come to land, as well. That means they spend a shared life in the ocean and on land. Their colourations help them to camouflage in the environment with a black coloured back and a white coloured front side. Therefore, the predators cannot easily see them as well as their prey items cannot evade them. Penguins have specialized eyes, which are adapted to encompass the underwater vision. Their thick insulating feathers keep them warm in the cold waters, to ensure the physiological processes inside the bodies. Penguins can drink the seawater, as they are adapted to prevent the salts being added into the blood stream. Most of the penguins breed in large colonies, and they appear as monogamous pairs during the breeding season. Usually, both male and female incubate the eggs, but it is a male’s duty in the case of Emperor penguins.
Puffins are small birds living in the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. There are three species of puffins belong to one genus, Fratercula. They form large colonies of birds on either coastal cliffs or offshore islands. Their body size varies from 32 to 38 centimetres, and they are commonly black or black and white in colouration with a large red coloured beak. The head has black cap; face is white, and feet are orange red. The large beak is helpful to grab their prey items while they dive. The small wings f puffins can provide the moving force while they dive as well as during flight. However, they do not fly over long distances and high altitudes, but it is a low flight over the surface of the sea for small distances. Puffins have white coloured under parts and black coloured upper parts and wings, which are helpful for camouflaging. They shed the colourful outer part of the beak after the breeding period. The male builds their nests either alone or with the help of the female. They are a long-term pair bonded birds.
What is the difference between Penguin and Puffin?
• Penguins inhabit the Southern hemisphere while puffins range in the Northern hemisphere.
• Penguins are much larger than puffins in size.
• Penguins have proportionally small beak to their body, whereas puffins have a large beak in relative to the body size.
• Puffins shed the colourful outer parts of the beak after breeding period but penguins do not.
• Penguins are flightless birds, but puffins can fly.