POPSUGAR Pets

Happy World Penguin Day!

Apr 25 2008 - 4:15pm

That's right – it's another holiday [1] today! In honor of
World Penguin Day [2], I've created a slideshow to teach you a little more about the 17 species of penguins worldwide. Many times, looking at their heads is the easiest way to tell them apart . . . makes sense because that's what we can see when they pop up from swim time [3]!

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Adelie Penguins

One of the most common and well known of all Antarctic penguin species, Adelie penguins can be found forming colonies on islands, beaches, and headlands all around the Antarctic coast.
Size: About 30 inches tall and 11 lbs.
Spotworthy: The Adelie penguin is the stereotypical penguin with a white tuxedo shirt front – the white ring around its eyes gives the bird a handsome, yet comical appearance . . . I think it looks like googly eyes from the craft store! Its beak is reddish with a black tip.

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African Penguins

African penguins have a unique ecology because they're entirely removed from all other penguin populations living and breeding on islands in the temperate waters of the Benguela current off the southwest African coast. Size: About 18 inches tall and 7.5 lbs.
Spotworthy: These penguins typically sport a broad white stripe encircling a black cheek and throat and a black horseshoe-shaped stripe across the chest. They also have featherless pink areas around the eyes.

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Chinstrap Penguins

The Chinstrap penguin is the second most abundant Antarctic/subantarctic penguin (after the Macaroni), mainly concentrated in vast colonies along the coast of South Orkneys, South Shetlands, and South Sandwich Islands.
Size: About 27 inches tall and 9 lbs.
Spotworthy: This species can be recognized by the narrow band of black feathers that gives it a distinctive, thin black line that extends from ear to ear, just below the chin and the cheeks – wonder how it got that name, huh?!

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Emperor Penguins

The Emperor penguin is the largest of all the penguins. These regal creatures were made (more) famous by the movie March of the Penguins [8] – Emperors remain in Antarctica permanently, breeding on the sea ice in some of the coldest conditions on Earth.
Size: About 40 inches tall and 88 lbs.
Spotworthy: Emperor Penguins have a big head, a short, thick neck, a streamlined shape, a short, wedge-shaped tail, and tiny, flipper-like wings. They've also got blue-gray upper parts and blackish-blue heads adorned with large white and yellow ear patches.

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Fairy Penguins

The smallest of all penguins, Fairy penguins are only found in the Southern Hemisphere preferring the warmer waters along the shores of Southern Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
Size: About 16 inches tall and 2 lbs.
Spotworthy: Fairy penguins are also called "Little Blues" because of the indigo-blue and slate-gray color of their feathers. They also have distinctive white flippers, a white stripe around the edges.

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Erect Crested Penguins

Erect-crested penguins are among the rarest and most mysterious of the penguins – they're secluded in huge colonies on the bare, exposed rocks of the Bounty Islands and on the beaches and cliffs of the Antipodes Islands often left undisturbed and unstudied.
Size: About 20 inches tall and 8 lbs.
Spotworthy: The characteristic features of this species are the distinctive upward-sweeping crests of long brush-like feathers which extend from the base of the bill to the top of the head. The penguins have chocolate-brown eyes, and parallel sides on the top horny ridge of the bill.

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Fjordland Crested Penguins

These seclusive birds get their name because they're found along the shores of deeply indented bays – aka fjords – on the southern and southwestern coasts of New Zealand. Breeding in rugged coastal rainforests they nest individually, or in loose colonies, close to the water.
Size: About 17 inches tall and 8 lbs.
Spotworthy: Fjordland crested penguins have yellow crests which originate close to the bills and sweep back like eyebrows drooping down to the back of the head. The black cheek feathers often part to expose their blue pale bases, giving them a striped or mottled effect. The head, throat, and upperparts are black and underparts are white.

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Galapagos Penguins

Galapagos penguins are the smallest of the warm weather penguins and can be found only on the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. And, as some party trivia, they are the only penguin species to cross into the Northern Hemisphere with small populations located on the north coast of Isabela Island, just miles north of the equator.
Size: About 19 inches tall and 6 lbs.
Spotworthy: The distinguishing features of the Galapagos penguins include a narrow white band extending from the eye to under the chin and a black band that runs in an upside-down horseshoe shape around their fronts. The bill is longer and more slender than other temperate-area birds and the main black band around their front is much thinner.

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Gentoo Penguins

The Gentoo penguin has the widest range of distribution of any penguin with, the most significant populations concentrated on the Antarctic peninsula and subantarctic islands and other breeding colonies of Gentoos are found on South Georgia, the Falkland Islands, and the Kerguelen Isles.
Size: About 30 inches tall and 12 lbs.
Spotworthy: Gentoos are distinguished by their bright red-orange bills and conspicuous white patches behind their eyes. Long stiff tail feathers stick out behind them as they walk and cock up in the water when they're swimming, making them fairly easy to spot.

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Humboldt Penguins

Humboldt penguins, also known as the Peruvian penguins, are warm-weather penguin living mostly on rocky mainland shores, near cliffs, or on islands off the coasts of Chile and Peru.
Size: About 18 inches tall and 10 lbs.
Spotworthy: When you see a Humboldt from the front, they only have one "neck band" and have a white front, a brownish-black back and head, and a white mark circling above each eye and forward around the neck.

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King Penguins

Nonmigratory King penguins breed on seven subantarctic island groups with large populations on the Falkland Islands, Macquarie Islands, Heard Island, Iles Crozet, and Marion island.
Size: About 30 inches tall and 20 to 30 lbs.
Spotworthy: Distinctive features of these birds include a silvery-grey back with a blackish-brown head decorated with striking ear patches of bright golden-orange feathers. They can be identified by the orange coloring on their breasts, more slender bodies, and longer bills than the Emperor penguin.

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Macaroni Penguins

Most abundant of all the world's penguins, the Macaroni penguins inhabit the maritime Antarctic and subantarctic regions with large breeding populations found on South Georgia Island and other area islands including Heard and Marion Islands.
Size: About 25 inches tall and 11 lbs.
Spotworthy: Very similar to their crested cousins, Macaroni penguins are larger and can be distinguished by their yellow-orange tassels that begin with a broad band across the forehead meeting right between their eyes and their mostly black faces.

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Magellan Penguins

Magellanic penguins inhabit the cold temperate waters and subantarctic regions of coastal Chile and Argentina with significant populations on Juan Fernandez Islands, Tierra del Fuego, and the Falklands.
Size: About 27 inches tall and 9 lbs.
Spotworthy: This species has black-to-brown shading on its back-and-white coloring on its breast and trunk. Their chests have scattered black spots with two bands crossing its front – one band is a wide black strip under the chin and another is in the shape of an upside down horseshoe on the stomach. They've also got very dense feathers and the stereotypical tuxedo attire with white belly and black back.

Source [18]

Rockhopper Penguins

The Rockhopper penguins are small, aggressive, crested penguins – they get their name because they hop from boulder to boulder when moving around their rocky colonies. This subantarctic species breeds at cool, southern localities such as Macquarie Island, the Falklands, Campbell Island, and the Antipodes.
Size: About 21 inches tall and 6 lbs.
Spotworthy: Rockhoppers have the distinctive crest feathers on their heads, bright orange-red bills, and tiny blood red eyes. They've also got thin, vivid yellow tassels that extend along the sides of the brow but do not meet between the eyes and spiked black feathers on the top of their big heads.

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Royal Penguins

Royal penguins breed only on Macquarie Island in large, dense colonies. They're named for the crestlike yellow feathers on their heads.
Size: About 23 inches tall and 9 lbs.
Spotworthy: Though slightly smaller, Royal penguins are very similar in appearance to Macaroni penguins – the main distinguishing feature is their predominately white chins and faces (while those of Macaronis are mostly black).

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Snares Island Penguins

The seclusive Snares Island penguin inhabits and breeds along the sheltered, forested beaches of the Snares Islands, off the southern coast of New Zealand - they are considered a very vulnerable species. Size: About 20 inches tall and 7 lbs.
Spotworthy: The Snares Island penguins have a broad crest extending and growing from the beak around to the back of the head. They have a thicker, heavier bill, which is more underlined with white skin than other crested species. They do not have the white cheek feathers found on the Fjordland crested penguins have have less erect crests than those of the Erect-crested penguins and less elaborate than those of the Rockhopper penguins.

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Yellow-Eyed Penguins

The rarest of all the penguins, the Yellow-eyed penguin inhabits coastal forests of New Zealand and neighboring southern islands. Unique in appearance and behavior, these solitary birds have experienced population declines in the last 50 years due to habitat loss and predation by introduced species.
Size: About 24 inches tall and 13 lbs.
Spotworthy: Yellow-eyed penguins have distinctive golden feathers which form a crown on their heads. This along with a bright yellow stripe running to the eye and around the back of the head are the distinguishing features of these elusive birds. They also have slate grey-blue blacks with a white breast and belly, flesh-colored feet, and thick reddish-purple bills.

Source [22]


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