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What Eats Penguins? (24 Predators with Pictures)

What Eats Penguins

Animals that eat penguins include sharks, leopard seals, fur seals, foxes, and Ibises.

There are several animals that prey upon penguins. While it may not be common for these predators to eat penguins, they will occasionally prey on them if the opportunity arises. They are not typically a large part of these animals’ diets, but they can occasionally make up a small percentage.

Penguins are an easy prey item for these predators since they are not as fast or agile as other sea creatures. Additionally, the meat of a penguin is high in nutrients and provides a valuable source of food for these predators.

Examples of Animals that Eat Penguins

1. Armadillos

Armadillo
Scientific NameDasypodidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America

The nine-banded armadillo is a small mammal that is found throughout Central and South America. These animals are omnivorous, meaning that they eat both plants and animals. Armadillos are known to prey on penguins, especially the Magellanic penguin. They typically eat the penguins’ eggs and chicks, but will also eat the adults if they can.

Read Also: Are Armadillos Loners?

2. Falcons

falcon
Scientific NameFalco
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide

Falcons are a type of bird that is found throughout the world. These animals are predators, and their diet consists mainly of small prey items like rodents and birds. Falcons are known to eat penguins, and will often scavenge dead penguins or steal them from other predators. They typically eat the penguins’ meat and eggs, but will also consume their feathers and bones.

3. Feral Dogs

Feral Dog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Feral dogs are a type of dog that has been abandoned by humans and has reverted to a wild state. These animals are found in many parts of the world, and they often prey on penguins. They typically eat the penguins’ eggs and chicks, but will also eat the adults if they can. Feral dogs are a major threat to penguin populations, and they are responsible for the deaths of many penguins every year.

4. Ferrets

Ferret
Scientific NameMustela putorius furo
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America, North Africa, and Western Europe

Ferrets are a type of mammal that is found throughout the world. These animals are carnivores, meaning that they eat only meat. Ferrets are known to prey on penguins, especially the Little Blue penguin. They typically eat the penguins’ eggs and chicks, but will also eat the adults if they can.

5. Fur Seals

Fur Seal
Scientific NameCallorhinus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethroughout the Pacific and Southern Oceans from south Australia, Africa

Fur seals are a type of seal that is found in the waters around Antarctica. These animals are predators, and their diet consists mainly of fish and penguins. Fur seals are known to eat both adult penguins and penguin chicks. They typically hunt penguins by swimming underneath them and then grabbing them with their teeth.

6. Gray Foxes

Argentine Gray Fox
Scientific NameUrocyon cinereoargenteus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Canada into most of the United States and into Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America.

The gray fox is a small, omnivorous mammal that can be found throughout North America. While they typically prey on small mammals and birds, the gray fox will occasionally eat penguins if they are available. Penguins provide a good source of protein for the gray fox.

7. Great White Shark

great white shark
Scientific NameCarcharodon carcharias
Type of AnimalMammal
Range South Africa, Japan, Oceania, Chile, and the Mediterranean

The great white shark is a large predatory fish that is found in coastal waters around the world. This shark is known for its large size and fearsome appearance. The great white shark is a carnivore and primarily eats fish, but will also consume other animals, including penguins.

Related Article: 7 Shark Personality Traits

8. Gulls

Glaucous Gull
Scientific NameLarus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide

Gulls are birds that often follow predators, such as leopard seals and orcas, to scavenge on the leftovers from their kills. They will eat anything that is left over, including penguin carcasses.

9. Hammerhead Sharks

hammerhead shark
Scientific NameSphyrnidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Hammerhead sharks are some of the animals that eat penguins. They are found in tropical and temperate waters all over the world, and they typically prey on fish, rays, and other small sea creatures. However, they will occasionally eat penguins if the opportunity arises.

Related Article: Do Hammerhead Shark Eat Penguins?

10. Ibises

Scarlet Ibis
Scientific NameThreskiornithinae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAntarctica and the islands of the South Pacific

Ibises are a type of bird that is found in Africa, Asia, and North America. They are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and animals. Ibises typically eat insects, small fish, amphibians, and rodents. However, they have also been known to eat penguins on occasion.

Ibises are opportunistic predators, meaning that they will eat whatever is available to them. Penguins are an easy prey item for these birds since they are not as fast or agile as other sea creatures. Additionally, the meat of a penguin is high in nutrients and provides a valuable source of food for ibises.

11. Leopard Seal

Leopard Seal
Scientific NameHydrurga leptonyx
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAntarctica

Leopard seals are a type of seal that is found in the cold waters of Antarctica. These animals are predators, and their diet consists mainly of fish and penguins. Leopard seals are known to eat both adult penguins and penguin chicks. They typically hunt penguins by chasing them underwater and will eat them whole if they catch them.

Read Also: Do Leopard Seals Live in Antarctica?

12. Leopards

leopard
Scientific NamePanthera pardus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica, parts of the Middle East, and Asia, including China, India, and eastern Russia

African Leopard is a big cat that lives in Africa. They are the fifth largest big cat in the world and weigh between 60 and 120 pounds. These predators hunt a variety of prey items, including antelopes, zebras, warthogs, and impalas. However, they will also eat penguins if the opportunity arises.

13. Orcas

orca
Scientific NameOrcinus orca
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeall oceans

Orcas are a type of whale that is found in the waters around Antarctica. These animals are apex predators, meaning that they are at the top of the food chain. Orcas’ diet consists mainly of seals, but they will also eat penguins on occasion. They typically hunt penguins by swimming underneath them and then grabbing them with their teeth.

14. Petrels

Petrel
Scientific NameProcellariiformes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide

There are also some bird species that prey on penguins. Petrels, for example, are a type of seabird that feeds on small fish, squid, and crustaceans. They will also eat penguins if they are available. Petrels typically hunt in the open ocean, but they have been known to follow penguins to their colonies in order to feed on them.

15. Pumas

Puma
Scientific NamePuma concolor
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethroughout Central and South America

Pumas are large, cat-like animals that live in North and South America. They are opportunistic predators, meaning that they will eat whatever is available to them. This includes penguins, which make up a small percentage of their diet. Pumas typically hunt at night and will stalk their prey before attacking. They kill their prey by biting them in the neck.

16. Red Foxes

red fox
Scientific NameVulpes vulpes
Type of AnimalMammal
Range throughout the continental United States from Alaska to Florida

Red foxes are a common predator of penguins in some parts of the world. They primarily eat the chicks and eggs of penguins, but will also eat adult penguins if they can catch them. Red foxes are opportunistic predators, meaning that they will eat whatever is available to them. This makes penguins a relatively easy prey item for them.

17. Sea Lions

Sea Lion
Scientific NameOtariinae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeJapan and Korea, western North America

Sea lions are another predator that sometimes eats penguins. They primarily feed on fish, but they will also prey on penguins if the opportunity arises. Sea lions tend to attack young or injured penguins since they are easier targets.

18. Sheathbills

Sheathbills
Scientific NameChionidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAntarctica, the Scotia Arc, the South Orkneys, and South Georgia

Sheathbills are a type of bird that lives in the Antarctic and is known to eat penguins. They are the only birds that live in the Antarctic year-round, and they mainly eat the carcasses of dead penguins. Sheathbills have a strong beak that allows them to break through the tough skin of a penguin and get to the meat inside. They are also able to scavenge for food on the ground, which includes both penguins and other sea creatures that have died.

19. Skuas

Arctic Skua
Scientific NameStercorariidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeThe Antarctic. Winters in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans

Skuas are a type of seabird that is known to eat penguins. They are particularly fond of the eggs and chicks of penguins, and will often scavenge for food near penguin colonies. Skuas have sharp beaks and talons that help them to snatch up their prey items.

20. Snakes

black snake
Scientific NameSerpentes
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide

Snakes that eat penguins include pythons and anacondas. These snakes are found in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and South America. Penguins make a good meal for these predators because they are slow and relatively easy to catch. Additionally, their meat is high in nutrients and provides a valuable source of food for these snakes.

21. Stoats

Stoat
Scientific NameMustela erminea
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America, Europe, and Asia

Stoats are small, weasel-like creature that is found in New Zealand and parts of Australia. They primarily eat rabbits, but will also feed on other small mammals, including penguins. Stoats are able to kill and eat prey that is significantly larger than themselves, including penguins.

22. Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil
Scientific NameSarcophilus harrisii
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeTasmania

The Tasmanian Devil is a small, carnivorous marsupial that is found in Tasmania and parts of Australia. It is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world. The Tasmanian Devil primarily eats meat, including carrion, but it will also eat insects, lizards, and other small animals.

23. Tiger Sharks

Tiger Shark
Scientific NameGaleocerdo cuvier
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCape Cod to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico

Tiger sharks are one of the species that can be found preying on penguins. They are found in tropical and temperate waters throughout the world. These sharks are opportunistic predators, meaning that they will eat whatever is available to them. This includes a variety of sea creatures, such as fish, seals, and even penguins.

24. Weddell Seal

Harp Seal
Scientific NameLeptonychotes weddellii
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAntarctica

Weddell seal is a large, carnivorous mammal that inhabits the Antarctic continent. They are one of the predators that eat penguins and are known to hunt them in packs. The seals will use their sharp teeth to rip into the penguins, and then consume their meaty insides.

Conclusion

There are a variety of animals that eat penguins, and the majority of them are large marine predators. Orcas, leopard seals, Viewed from afar, it might seem like penguins have very few predators; however, this is not the case.

In fact, there are a variety of animals that eat penguins, and the majority of them are large marine predators. orcas, leopard seals, elephant seals, sea lions, fur seals, walruses, and some large fish all prey on penguins. Some of these predators hunt in packs, while others are solitary hunters.

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