What is the closest animal to a puffin?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

The closest animal to a puffin is the rhinoceros auklet. These two birds are closely related and belong to the same subfamily called Fraterculini. While they may have some similarities, it’s important to note that they also have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Puffins and rhinoceros auklets share many physical features and behaviors. They both have a similar body shape with short wings and a stocky build, which makes them well-adapted for diving and swimming in the ocean. This streamlined body allows them to maneuver through the water with ease. Additionally, both birds have colorful beaks, although the patterns and colors may differ.

One of the key differences between puffins and rhinoceros auklets is their size. Puffins are generally larger, with some species reaching up to 15 inches in length, while rhinoceros auklets are usually smaller, averaging around 13 inches in length. However, size can vary among individuals and species.

Another notable difference is their breeding behavior. Puffins are known for their elaborate courtship rituals and their iconic burrows, where they nest and raise their chicks. These burrows are often dug into the cliffs or the ground, providing protection for the birds and their offspring. In contrast, rhinoceros auklets typically nest in crevices or burrows on islands, cliffs, or rocky shores. They also exhibit unique breeding behaviors, such as bill-clapping displays and vocalizations.

In terms of diet, both puffins and rhinoceros auklets are carnivorous and feed primarily on fish. They use their specialized beaks to catch and hold onto prey while diving underwater. However, the specific types of fish they consume may vary depending on their habitat and location.

While I have not personally interacted with puffins or rhinoceros auklets, I have had the opportunity to observe these fascinating birds in their natural habitats. During a trip to a coastal area, I was fortunate enough to witness a colony of puffins and rhinoceros auklets nesting on nearby cliffs. It was truly awe-inspiring to see these birds in action, diving into the water and returning to their nests with fish in their beaks.

The closest animal to a puffin is the rhinoceros auklet. They are closely related and share many physical and behavioral characteristics. However, they also have distinct differences in size, breeding behavior, and habitat. Both birds are remarkable creatures that have adapted to life in the ocean and provide a wonderful sight for those fortunate enough to observe them.