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WHAT IS THE PUFFIN?


There are three types of puffins, the arctic, horned and tufted puffins. They tend to live in either Antarctica, Arctic Ocean and Arctic Oceans. Puffins tend to grow to have a wingspan of 55cm and weigh about 450 grams. They also tend to max out in height at about 35 centimeters. There is a common misconception that puffins always have a very colorful beak, it is just not true. Their colors come out during mating season and die down during the rest of the year.



Puffins often dive bomb as they enter the water as they are very good swimmers and naturals in the water. Unlike penguins they can also fly. When in the water the puffin applies an oil from it's tail gland that allows it's body to be water tight. This helps it from getting hypothermia. The air in it's feathers is pushed upwards as it falls in the water, creating an air pocket that helps protect it.














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Puffins' natural predators include various types of gulls, including the black-backed gull. They also tend to be hunted by humans for their meat in Iceland and Norway. Their numbers are also being threatened by pollution and climate changes like El Nino. Commercial fishing has also depleted the favourite food for puffins which include sand eels and whitebait. Many North Atlantic puffins starve due to lack of available food.

 

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