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Difference between Penguin and Puffin

Penguin and puffin both are seabirds. People often confuse penguin with puffin because of their superficial similarities. Although there are certain physical characteristics that make these animals look alike, they are not close relatives and differ from each other in terms of their body size, shape and behaviour etc. Let us see how a penguin differs from a puffin!

Penguin:

Penguins belong to the family Spheniscidae in the animal kingdom. The scientific name of penguin is Spheniscidae. There are around 17 different species of penguin, without any overlap. They are mostly found in Southern hemisphere, islands and coasts from Antarctica to South America. They are excellent swimmers but are not able to fly as they have short, stiff wings and a heavy and chubby body. The height of a penguin ranges from 49 cm to 1.1m and it weighs from 2.2 to more than 77 pounds, depending on the species.

Penguins are carnivorous as they mostly eat seafood such as fish, slugs, squids, and crustaceans. They are social animals so tend to stay together in large colonies with around 50,000 penguins in one colony. They spend most of their time hunting for food in the water and their natural predators are seal and sharks.

Puffin:

Puffins belong to the family Alcidae. The scientific name of the puffin is Fratercula. There are around four species of puffin, without any overlap. They are mostly found in colder regions of the northern Atlantic. They are known for their distinctive brightly coloured, broad, flattened, and triangular beaks. They have a thick black and white plumage that helps keep them warm in cold climatic conditions. Their height ranges from 10 to 15 inches and they weigh from 1.1 to 1.76 pounds. They are mostly carnivorous as they feed on squid, small fished, squid and marine worms.

Puffins are able to fly as they have much lighter and more compact body. They can reach the speed of 50 mph but for short duration of time. Puffins are extremely sociable animals so are found in huge colonies. They have an annual breeding season that includes the summer months from April to August. The female puffin lays a single egg that is incubated by both the parents.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between penguin and puffin are as follows:

Penguin Puffin
Penguins belong to the family Spheniscidae in the animal kingdom. Puffins belong to the family Alcidae in the animal kingdom.
The scientific name of penguin is Spheniscidae. The scientific name of puffin is fratercula.
There are 18 species of penguin found all over the world. There are 4 species of puffin found all over the world.
They are found in the southern hemispheres, from Antarctica to South America. They are found in cold climatic conditions of northern Atlantic.
Their height ranges from 49 cm to 1.1m, depending on the species. Their height ranges from 10 to 15 inches, depending on species.
A penguin weighs from 2.2 to more than 77 pounds, depending on the species A puffin weighs from 1.1 to 1.76 pounds, depending on the species.
They cannot fly due to the presence of short, rigid wings and a chubby and heavy body. They can fly and reach a speed of 50mph but for short duration of time.
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