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Birds
Penguins Theme Unit
What's a Penguin?



What's a Penguin?

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.1

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    interact, rookery, species, social, layer, oily, seals, speedy, whales, blubber, rocks, playful, nearly, grease, steer, along
     content words:    Southern Hemisphere


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What's a Penguin?
By Mary Perrin
  

1     Penguins are birds. All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. There are seventeen species of penguins found in the world. Not all of them live in Antarctica, but many of them do. Ice covers ninety-eight percent of land in Antarctica. Penguins' bodies have adapted to extreme temperatures. Penguins feathers help keep them warm when they swim in ice cold water. Penguins' feathers are oily. Penguins use their oil glands to grease down their feathers. Oil and water do not mix. They do not get nearly as cold as we would if we were in icy water because the ice cold water will not reach their skin. Penguins also puff their feathers out to help them stay warm. Just like whales, penguins have a layer of blubber under their skin that helps them as well. Some types of penguins huddle together in groups to help stay warm, too.
 
2     Penguins have strong toenails and beaks. They use their toenails for climbing rocks and ice to get to their nests. Penguins swallow their food whole. They do not have any teeth. They use their beaks to carry food to their .....
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Penguins Theme Unit
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