How Tall Are Penguins? [Compared with Human]

More than 18 species of penguins have an amazingly wide variety of heights. The height ranges from 16 inches to 45 inches. With the difference in height, the weight also has an average between 1 kg to 37 kg.

The height of the penguins classifies them as the smallest penguin, as Little Penguin and the largest penguin, is Emperor Penguin. Interesting!!! Yeah, It’s full of mystery, fun and enjoyment. Let’s know the facts in detail.

How Tall Are Penguins?

Penguins are tall, and the interesting fact is the variation among different types of penguins which have a huge contrast of sizes. You can find a penguin of 1 foot and, at the same time, a penguin of 3 plus feet.

Penguin from different territoriesHeight (feet, cm and inches)
Adelie Penguin70 cm2 Feet 4 inches
African Penguin60 cm1 foot 11.6 inches
Chinstrap Penguin76cm2 feet 5.9 inches
Emperor Penguin120 cm3 feet 11.44 inches
Galapagos Penguin55 cm1 foot 9.65 inches
Fiordland Penguin55cm1 foot 9.65 inches
Erect-Crested Penguin70 cm2 Feet 4 inches
Gentoo Penguin90 cm2 feet 11.43 inches
Humboldt Penguin72 cm2 feet 4.34 inches
King Penguin90 cm2 feet 11.43 inches
Little Penguin33 cm1 foot 0.99 inches
Macaroni Penguin71 cm 2 feet 3.95inches
Magellanic Penguin65 cm2 feet 1.59 inches
Northern Rockhopper Penguin55 cm1 foot 9.65 inches
Southern Rockhopper Penguin58 cm1 foot 10.83 inches
Royal Penguin76 cm2 feet 5.92 inches
  Snares Penguin61 cm 2 feet 0.01 inches
Yellow-eyed Penguin65 cm2 feet 1.59 inches

How Tall Are Penguins in Comparison to Humans?

The chart above shows the different sizes of penguins, which have huge variations. The penguins are as short as 33cm and as tall as 120cm.

height compare human and penguin
Height comparison: Human and different penguins

Tallest among all is the Emperor penguin, which can even grow up to 4 feet. The average male height is 5 feet and 10 inches. So there is less than 2 feet difference between a male human and an emperor penguin.

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In fact, the height of the Emperor penguin touches the same height as that of a six-year-old human child.

However, an interesting fact has just come up through a fossil study in Newzealand.

A team of researchers from the Canterbury Museum has found that 37 to 40 million years ago, a monster penguin was as tall as 5 feet 3 inches. The giant bird could weigh even more than the weight of the average human. Source

How Tall Are the Penguins In Antarctica?


Among the seven species of penguins that live in Antarctica, only the Rockhopper Penguin ranges from 50 cm. The rest of the penguins in Antarctica are taller.

Their height ranges between 75 cm to 120 cm. The tallest of all, the Emperor Penguin, leads the list with 120 cm and nearly 100 kg weight.

Note: Of all these 7, 4 of them are native to Antarctica. Hence the rest are also spending part of the year on coastal areas. However, there is a new wave of unrest and excitement with the discovery of mega penguins.

What Are Mega Penguins?

The history dates back to 37 million years on the islands of New Zealand. Researchers tell us now that far back in time lived the mega penguins, which were 2 meters tall.

The researchers call it Colossus Penguin. The fossil bones give details that outclass even the Emperor Penguin. However, the living mega penguin is none other than the Emperor Penguin.

Emperor Penguin Weight

Talking more about the weight of the Emperor penguin, you will find a variety of details. They have a cycle to carry on regarding breeding and parenting. So both the males and females take care of the egg and have to survive the severe weather.

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During this time, they don’t eat and lose weight. So, as a result, the males had 38 kg, and the females had 29 kg before the breeding season, cut short to 23 kg after the breeding season.

emperor penguin
Emperor Penguin

The males have a distinctive feature of giving warmth to the egg during the breeding season. Having more weight than the female becomes a support for breeding.

Do you know the tallest emperor penguin’s weight? The tallest emperor penguin can reach up to 1.3 meters. The adults do vary in weight during the year.

Tip: Always think of an adult when looking for the standards. So, if we see the weight of the tallest breed, the most weighing would be nearing 45 kgs.

Here is a little sheet of comparison of penguin weights:

TypeWeight in kgs
Emperor Penguin23 kgs
King Penguin18 kgs
Adelie Penguin6 kgs


Can penguins be 6 feet tall?

The ancient penguins were 5 feet and 3 inches tall, as the research says. The Colossus Penguin fossils tell that their average height was nearly that of humans average.

However, the living penguins reach up to 1.3 meters in height at the most.

Why are penguins’ legs short and strong?

The following structure helps the penguins in diving and swimming. The short legs and webbed feet act like rudders to help them move like a torpedo in the water.

Why do the Emperor Penguins live in Antarctica?

Their body type is well adapted to the severe cold in Antarctica. Their dense layers of feathers, thick fat reserves and short flippers and beaks prevent heat loss from the body. 

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The penguins stand among the tallest birds in Antarctica. Emperor penguins are the tallest among the species. Their name is due to their upright, regal stature compared to the small species.

The size of the Emperor penguins brings many benefits like they can dive deep underwater for food hunt and stay there for longer periods.

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