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Penguins
Penguins ( order Sphenisciformes , family Spheniscidae ) are a group of aquatic flightless birds. They live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere: only one species, the Galápagos penguin, is found north of the Equator. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage and flippers for swimming. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid and other forms of sea life which they catch with their bills and swallow it whole while swimming. A penguin has a spiny tongue and powerful jaws to grip slippery prey. They spend roughly half of their lives on land and the other half in the sea. The largest living species is the emperor penguin (''Aptenodytes forsteri''): on average, adults are about tall and weigh . The smallest penguin species is the little blue penguin (''Eudyptula minor''), also known as the fairy penguin, which stands around tall and weighs . Today, larger penguins generally inhabit colder regions, and smaller peng ...
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African Penguin
The African penguin (''Spheniscus demersus''), also known as Cape penguin or South African penguin, is a species of penguin confined to southern African waters. Like all extant penguins, it is flightless, with a streamlined body and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat. Adults weigh an average of and are tall. The species has distinctive pink patches of skin above the eyes and a black facial mask. The body's upper parts are black and sharply delineated from the white underparts, which are spotted and marked with a black band. The African penguin is a pursuit diver and feeds primarily on fish and squid. Once extremely numerous, the African penguin is declining rapidly due to a combination of several threats and is classified as endangered. It is a charismatic species and is popular with tourists. Other vernacular names of the species include black-footed penguin and jackass penguin, due to the species' loud, donkey-like noise, although several re ...
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Emperor Penguin
The emperor penguin (''Aptenodytes forsteri'') is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching in length and weighing from . Feathers of the head and back are black and sharply delineated from the white belly, pale-yellow breast and bright-yellow ear patches. Like all penguins, it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat. Its diet consists primarily of fish, but also includes crustaceans, such as krill, and cephalopods, such as squid. While hunting, the species can remain submerged around 20 minutes, diving to a depth of . It has several adaptations to facilitate this, including an unusually structured haemoglobin to allow it to function at low oxygen levels, solid bones to reduce barotrauma, and the ability to reduce its metabolism and shut down non-essential organ functions. The only penguin species ...
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Little Penguin
The little penguin (''Eudyptula minor'') is a species of penguin from New Zealand. They are commonly known as little blue penguins or blue penguins owing to their slate-blue plumage and are also known by their Māori name . The Australian little penguin (''Eudyptula novaehollandiae'') from Australia and the Otago region of New Zealand is considered a separate species by a 2016 study and a 2019 study. Taxonomy The little penguin was first described by German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster in 1781. Several subspecies are known, but a precise classification of these is still a matter of dispute. The holotypes of the subspecies ''E. m. variabilis'' and ''Eudyptula minor chathamensis'' are in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The white-flippered penguin (''E. m. albosignata'' or ''E. m. minor morpha albosignata'') is currently considered by most taxonomists to be a colour morph or subspecies of ''Eudyptula minor.'' In 2008, Shirihai treate ...
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Yellow-eyed Penguin
The yellow-eyed penguin (''Megadyptes antipodes''), known also as hoiho or tarakaka, is a species of penguin endemic to New Zealand. Previously thought closely related to the little penguin (''Eudyptula minor''), molecular research has shown it more closely related to penguins of the genus ''Eudyptes''. Like most other penguins, it is mainly piscivorous. The species breeds along the eastern and south-eastern coastlines of the South Island of New Zealand, as well as Stewart Island, Auckland Islands, and Campbell Islands. Colonies on the Otago Peninsula are a popular tourist venue, where visitors may closely observe penguins from hides, trenches, or tunnels. On the New Zealand mainland, the species has experienced a significant decline over the past 20 years. On the Otago Peninsula, numbers have dropped by 75% since the mid-1990s and population trends indicate the possibility of local extinction in the next 20 to 40 years. While the effect of rising ocean temperatures is st ...
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Snares Penguin
The Snares penguin (''Eudyptes robustus''), also known as the Snares crested penguin and the Snares Islands penguin, is a penguin from New Zealand. The species breeds on the Snares Islands, a group of islands off the southern coast of the South Island. It is a yellow-crested penguin, with a size of and a weight of . It has dark blue-black upper parts and white underparts. It has a bright yellow eyebrow-stripe which extends over the eye to form a drooping, bushy crest. It has bare pink skin at the base of its large red-brown bill. The species nests in colonies ranging in size from around 10 nests to around 1200, under forest cover or the open. The main colonies are located on North East Island; other colonies are established on Broughton Island as well as the rocky Western Chain. The Snares penguin's main prey is krill, supplemented by squid and small fish. The species is rated as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as its breeding rang ...
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Galápagos Penguin
The Galápagos penguin (''Spheniscus mendiculus'') is a penguin endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. It is the only penguin found north of the equator. Most inhabit Fernandina Island and the west coast of Isabela Island. The cool waters of the Humboldt and Cromwell Currents allow it to survive despite the tropical latitude. The Galápagos penguin is one of the banded penguins, the other species of which live mostly on the coasts of Africa and mainland South America. It is one of the smallest species of penguin in the world. Because of their warm environment, Galápagos penguins have developed techniques to stay cool. The feathers on their back, flippers, and head are black, and they have a white belly and a stripe looping from their eyes down to their neck and chin. Each penguin keeps only one mate, and breeds year-round. Their nests are typically in caves and crevices as protection against predators and the harsh environment. The Galápagos penguin has a lifespan of ...
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Spheniscus
The banded penguins are penguins that belong to the genus ''Spheniscus''. There are four living species, all with similar banded plumage patterns. They are sometimes also known as "jack-ass penguins" due to their loud locator calls sounding similar to a donkey braying. Common traits include a band of black that runs around their bodies bordering their black dorsal coloring, black beaks with a small vertical white band, distinct spots on their bellies, and a small patch of unfeathered or thinly feathered skin around their eyes and underdeveloped fluff sack that can be either white or pink. All members of this genus lay eggs and raise their young in nests situated in burrows or natural depressions in the earth. Systematics Banded penguins belong to the genus ''Spheniscus'', which was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the African penguin (''Spheniscus demersus'') as the type species. The genus name ''Spheniscus'' is derived from the Ancient G ...
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Gentoo Penguin
The gentoo penguin ( ) (''Pygoscelis papua'') is a penguin species (or possibly a species complex) in the genus '' Pygoscelis'', most closely related to the Adélie penguin (''P. adeliae'') and the chinstrap penguin (''P. antarcticus''). The earliest scientific description was made in 1781 by Johann Reinhold Forster with a type locality in the Falkland Islands. The species calls in a variety of ways, but the most frequently heard is a loud trumpeting, which the bird emits with its head thrown back. Names The application of "gentoo" to the penguin is unclear. '' Gentoo'' was an Anglo-Indian term to distinguish Hindus from Muslims. The English term may have originated from the Portuguese ''gentio'' ("pagan, gentile"). Some speculate that the white patch on the bird's head was thought to resemble a turban. It may also be a variation of another name for this bird, "Johnny penguin", with Johnny being in Spanish and sounds vaguely like gentoo. The Johnny rook, a predator, is likel ...
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Eudyptes
The term crested penguin is the common name given collectively to species of penguins of the genus ''Eudyptes''. The exact number of species in the genus varies between four and seven depending on the authority, and a Chatham Islands species became extinct in recent centuries. All are black and white penguins with yellow crests, red bills and eyes, and are found on Subantarctic islands in the world's southern oceans. All lay two eggs, but raise only one young per breeding season; the first egg laid is substantially smaller than the second. Taxonomy The genus ''Eudyptes'' was introduced by the French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot in 1816; the name is derived from the Ancient Greek words ''eu'' meaning "fine", and ''dyptes'' meaning "diver". The type species was designated as the southern rockhopper penguin by George Robert Gray in 1840. Six extant species have been classically recognised, with the recent splitting of the rockhopper penguin increasing it to seven. Conv ...
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Aptenodytes
The genus ''Aptenodytes'' contains two extant species of penguins collectively known as "the great penguins". Etymology The name "Aptenodytes" is a composite of Ancient Greek elements, "ἀ-πτηνο-δύτης" (without-wings-diver). Taxonomy * King penguin, ''Aptenodytes patagonicus'' **''Aptenodytes patagonicus patagonicus'' **''Aptenodytes patagonicus halli'' * Emperor penguin, ''Aptenodytes forsteri'' * Ridgen's penguin (''Aptenodytes ridgeni'') is an extinct species known from fossil bones of Early or Late Pliocene The Pliocene ( ; also Pleiocene) is the epoch in the geologic time scale that extends from 5.333 million to 2.58molecular data have shown the genus ''Aptenodytes'' to be basal ...
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List Of Sphenisciformes By Population
This is a list of Sphenisciformes species by global population. While numbers are estimates, they have been made by the experts in their fields. Sphenisciformes (from the Latin for ''"wedge-shaped"'') is the taxonomic order to which the penguins belong. BirdLife International has assessed 18 species. 16 (89% of total species) have had their population estimated: those missing are the king and little penguins, both of which have been assessed as being of least concern. A variety of methods are used for counting penguins, and April 2012 saw their first census from space, when imagery from Ikonos, QuickBird-2, and WorldView-2 satellites were used to count Antarctican emperors. This is a similar technique to that used by the UNHCR to count humans in Somalia. Most maritime surveys use strip transect and distance sampling to measure density; this is then extrapolated over the animal's range. The Galapagos has been counted annually since 1961 by the Galápagos National Park Serv ...
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Megadyptes
''Megadyptes'' ("large diver") is a genus of penguin from New Zealand. Species The yellow-eyed penguin (megadyptes antipodes) is the sole extant species in the genus ''Megadyptes''. A smaller, recently extinct species, the Waitaha penguin (''M. waitaha''), was described in 2009. A 2019 study recommended classifying the Waitaha penguin as ''M. a. waitaha'', a subspecies of the extant yellow-eyed penguin. The same 2019 study described ''M. a. richdalei'', a recently extinct dwarf subspecies from the Chatham Islands. Range Until recently, it was assumed that yellow-eyed penguins were widespread and abundant before the arrival of Polynesian settlers in New Zealand. However, genetic analysis has since revealed that its range only expanded to include mainland New Zealand in the past 200 years. Yellow-eyed penguins expanded out of the Subantarctic to replace New Zealand's endemic Waitaha penguin (''M. waitaha''). The Waitaha penguin became extinct between about 1300 and 1500 ...
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