Skip to content Skip to footer

What Eats Penguins? – Top 4 Penguin Predators

Penguins are aquatic birds that spend half their lives in the sea and the other on land. They belong to the family Spheniscidae and live, almost exclusively, in Antarctica and sub-Antarctic regions.

The penguin has few natural predators, and in this article, we will find out what animals eat penguins.

What Animals Eat Penguins: 4 Penguin Predators

Penguin predators - Leopard Seal

Leopard seals

Arguably the most common penguin predators, leopard seals are clumsy on land but shoot like torpedoes in the water. Their preferred method of hunting is to ambush their prey as the penguins dive into the water.

Also read: Are Penguins Friendly? Do They Like Humans?

Penguin predators - Orca


Also known as killer whales, these creatures are Antarctica’s apex marine predators, which means they have no natural predators. It also means the penguins have few defenses against them.

Penguin predators - Sea Lion

Sea Lions

It is usually male sea lions, called bulls, that hunt penguins. They can chase penguins on ice and carry them back into the water to eat them.

Also read: What Do Penguins Eat? Learn More About The Penguin’s Diet

Penguin predators - Giant Petrel

Giant Petrels

These large seabirds actively hunt penguins. For convenience, they usually seek out young chicks, penguin eggs, and wounded adult penguins. They put their sharp bills to use in tearing them apart.

How Do Macaroni Penguins Protect Themselves?

Macaroni penguins protect themselves by living in large colonies. These colonies can exceed 100,000 in population and help protect penguins from predators by allowing most penguins to escape during attacks.

Predators like leopard seals and killer whales often snatch penguins at the colony’s edge. Thus, other penguins can escape.

Also read: Are Penguins Dangerous? Can They Harm or Kill Humans?

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Walruses Eat Penguins?

No, walruses do not eat penguins. Both animals have different habitats, which limits the possibility of a predator-prey relationship in the wild. Walruses are found in the northern hemisphere, while penguins live in the southern hemisphere.

Do Orcas Eat Penguins?

Orcas are not picky eaters and would eat even penguins. These vicious predators chase penguins in the water and either wear them down or overtake them. They have also been seen knocking penguins off ice floes and tearing them up.

Do Dolphins Eat Penguins?

Most dolphins do not eat penguins because they usually ignore animals too large to swallow. However, the orca, a dolphin species, actively hunts down penguins and eats them. The bottlenose dolphin also occasionally eats penguins.

Do Narwhals Eat Penguins?

No, narwhals do not eat penguins. Also known as “unicorns of the sea” because of their long tusk, narwhals are somber deep sea creatures that hunt along the seafloor. Penguins swim in the lighter region of the sea. And anyway, narwhals live in the Arctic while penguins live in Antarctica. Hence, they do not make up a narwhal’s diet.

Do Sea Lions Eat Penguins?

Sea Lions are one of the most successful penguin predators. Although penguins are not their primary prey, they are known to hunt birds. They can hunt penguins in the water or snatch them up from their colonies in nefarious attacks.

Are There Birds That Eat Penguins?

Penguins have few land predators, but birds like skuas and Giant petrels prey on them. Skuas and sheathbills eat penguin eggs and chicks, but adult penguins are left alone. Petrels, however, also prey on adult penguins.

Do Humans Eat Penguins?

Although penguin meat is not toxic to humans, it is not part of any cuisine in the world. Penguins are protected by a treaty that prohibits people from hunting them. Humans can eat penguins, but the meat is not palatable.

Do People Eat Penguin Eggs?

Yes, people eat penguin eggs. Nevertheless, you should know that it is not found in any regional cuisines worldwide. Explorers have only eaten it in Antarctica as a survival tactic in the wild.

Leave a Comment