It might seem strange to say this, but it is hard to say exactly how many species of penguins there are living in the world today. Most authorities suggest between 16 to 19 species, with the 17 types of penguins listed on this website being the most common. However, even one of those is in doubt: the evidence indicates that the Royal penguin is really probably only a white-faced variant of the Macaroni
penguin. Yet, there might still be 17 species of penguins – or even more: genetic and other evidence is accumulating to suggest that the penguins with the long crests known as Rockhopper
penguins probably comprise two, or even three, different species. Similarly, Gentoo
penguins may well consist of more than one species.
Each species belongs to a larger grouping of closely related species known as a genus. The living penguins comprise six genera (the plural of genus). You can see which species belong to each genus by looking under Types of Penguin
in the Menu. Otherwise, if you wish to go straight to the information about a particular species, click on its picture below.