10 Interesting Facts about African Penguins

One of these following facts about African penguins should give you much information about what kind of animal the penguin it is. The African penguins, or also known as the jackass penguin and black-footed penguin is a species of penguin, confined to southern African waters. It is also widely known as the “jackass” penguin for its donkey-like bray, although several related species of South American penguins produce the same sound. Like all penguins it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat. Furthermore, to get to know more about this animal, here are some facts about African penguins you might like.

Facts about African penguins 1: Diver

The African penguin is a pursuit diver and feeds primarily on fish and squid. Once extremely numerous, the African penguin is declining due to a combination of threats and is classified as endangered. It is a charismatic species and is popular with tourists.

Facts about African penguins 2: Weight and Appearance

Adults weigh on average 2.2–3.5 kg (4.9–7.7 lb) and are 60–70 cm (24–28 in) tall. It has distinctive pink patches of skin above the eyes and a black facial mask; the body upperparts are black and sharply delineated from the white underparts, which are spotted and marked with a black band.

Facts about African penguins - African penguin diving

Facts about African penguins – African penguin diving

Facts about African penguins 3: Etymology

The genus to which the African penguin belongs to, Spheniscus, derives from the Ancient Greek word “sphen”, which means “wedge”. This refers to their streamlined body shape. Its species name, “demersus”, is a Latin word for “plunging”.

Facts about African penguins 4: Jackass Penguin

Magellanic penguins share a similar characteristic that often confuses the two, the similarity is a double bar on the throat and chest. These penguins have the nickname of “jackass penguin” which comes from the loud noises they make.

Facts about African penguins - African penguin in Boulder Bay

Facts about African penguins – African penguin in Boulder Bay

Facts about African penguins 5: Distribution

The African penguin is found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies on 24 islands between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is the only penguin species that breeds in Africa and its presence gave name to the Penguin Islands.

Facts about African penguins 6: Diet

African penguins forage in the open sea, where they pursue pelagic fist such as pilchards and anchovies and marine invertebrates such as squid and small crustaceans. Penguins normally swim within 20 km of the shore.A penguin may consume up to 540 grams of prey every day,but this may increase to over 1 kg when raising older chicks.

Facts about African penguins - African penguin swimming

Facts about African penguins – African penguin swimming

Facts about African penguins 7: Breeding

The African penguin is monogamous. It breeds in colonies, and pairs return to the same site each year. The African penguin has an extended breeding season,with nesting usually peaking from March to May in South Africa, and November and December in Namibia.

Facts about African penguins 8: Predation

The average lifespan of an African penguin is 10 to 27 years in the wild, and possibly longer in captivity.However, the African penguin may often fall to predators. Their predators in the ocean include sharks, Cape fur seals and, on ocassion, orcas. Land-based enemies include mongooses, genets, domestic cats, and the kelp gull which steals their eggs and newborn chicks.

Facts about African penguins - Cubs

Facts about African penguins – Cubs

Facts about African penguins 9: Conservation

The main project in place to protect the African penguin is conducted through the Baywatch Marine Conservation Project. They are the only organization with a permit to conduct research on St. Croix Island, the largest African penguin colony. They are part funded by Raggy Charters and were founded by Lloyd Edwards of Port Elizabeth.

Facts about African penguins 10: Population

Roughly 4 million penguins existed at the beginning of the 19th century. The total population fell to 200,000 in 2000; ten years later, in 2010, the number was estimated to be only at 55,000. If this decline is not halted, the African penguin is expected to be extinct within 15 years.

Facts about African penguins - Groups of African penguin

Facts about African penguins – Groups of African penguin

Hope you would find those African penguins facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.



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