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The puffin is built for diving and swimming underwater with small, sturdy wings and webbed feet. A special beak allows the puffin to catch and hold a mouthful of fish all at once. Pointy backward-facing barbs on the roof of the beak and a rough tongue helps to hold onto the fish.

Atlantic puffin swimming

Did You Know?

Puffin chicks are known as pufflings. Puffings eat alot and both mother and father have to supply it with fish. In one day a parent may dive 276 times, bringing back 10 fish each time. The puffling swallows the fish head first and whole. By the time the puffling leaves its burrow, each parent will have dove 12,420 times.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Fratercula arctica

North Atlantic Ocean

Ocean and rocky coasts

10 in

Zoo Location:
Birds of the World

Fish, mollusks and crustaceans

Risk Status:
Species at Risk (IUCN—Vulnerable)