Sea Life

Why Are Penguins Black And White?

Why Are Penguins Black and White

Many creatures are colored black and white such as pandas, orcas, and zebras but penguins are known to be the cutest birds on the planet. They are one of the most loveable creatures which will automatically gain people’s attention by their unique appearance. This might wonder many people why penguins always appear to be black and white. Let’s find out! 

Why are Penguins Black and White? 

Penguins are countershading, their body is covered with black and white feathers which allow them to camouflage with their environment to protect them from predatory animals either in the water or in the air. The white color of their belly looks like a light-filled water surface whereas the black color looks like the dark color of the deep ocean. 

Do Baby Penguins are Also Black and White? 

It is interesting to know that the baby penguins are not black and white they are white, grey, or brown. They have golden-yellow to orange patches around their neck or chest. When they reach the adult stage, then the waterproof black and white feathers grow. 

Are There any Benefits of Penguins’ Black and White Color? 

Yes! Other than protection from predators, the black and white color of the penguins also help them in certain ways: 


Penguins are found living in the Southern hemisphere where the temperature reaches its extreme level. The black-and-white coloration allows them to regulate their body temperature. 

  • During summer, they show their belly to the sun to cool their body. This will reduce the body heat and make them comfortable. 
  • While in winter, they pose their back towards the sun to observe heat.  

Protection From Abrasion 

Another advantage of having black and white color will protect the penguins from abrasion. When on land, they come in contact with all sorts of elements. So, their feathery appearance will protect their body from scratches or injuries. 

Energy Absorbance 

The black feathers on the penguin’s body will allow them to absorb more energy than the white feathers. To maintain the flow of energy, they grow a counter shade feather. 

Social Indicator 

The unique coloration of the penguins will make them look distinct and can easily be identified. Sometimes, this will also help them to find the potential meal– as when they see black and white color from a distance, they will move forward and join the others on a hunt. 


The black and white coloration of the penguins allows them to camouflage with the surroundings and protects predatory animals. Further, it helps them to regulate their body temperature, provides protection from abrasions, helps to absorb energy, and makes them look distinct from the other aquatic species.

About the author


I am a Scholar and a dedicated content writer. I am on a mission to stamp out the importance of one of the ocean's most fascinating and remarkable creatures, the sharks, and to let people know about their role in keeping the ecosystem in equilibrium.