10 Fun Facts About African Penguins

Penguins are so loved around the world that they seem to have 2 days a year dedicated to them!

April 25th is World Penguin Day! Today we want to focus on one particular species of penguin, the African Penguin.

The African Penguin - 10 Fun Facts:

    1. African penguins are also known as Jackass Penguins because of the braying sound they make when they communicate.

    2. They can be found in the colder waters off the African coast, covered in dense, waterproof feathers to keep them dry and warm.

    3. The pattern of unique black spots on these penguins chests are as different as human fingerprints. 

    4. Both male and female African penguins look almost identical and it is very difficult to tell the penguins gender without doing a genetic test.

    5. When the eggs have been laid both parents help incubate them and both parents will also feed the newly-born chicks. It is very much a team effort.

    6. African penguin chicks don't start walking until they are 3 weeks old, but after 6 days they are able to hold themselves upright.

    7. The African penguin population has been decreasing over the last few decades due largely to the loss of their nesting habitats, along with overfishing and pollution problems.

    8. It is believed that African penguins might have been one of the first penguin species discovered by humans.

    9. These little penguins breed from May to August on rocky ground with little or no greenery.

    10. African penguins can hold their breath for a little over 2 minutes and dive over 400 feet deep!

Information Sheet:

Name: African Penguin - Spheniscus demersus

Average Weight: 6.8 pounds

Average Size: 18 inches

Lifespan in the Wild: 20 years

IUCN Status: Endangered

Population: 52,000 birds left in the wild.

General Information: The African Penguin's favourite food is small fish such as sardines and anchovies as well as squid and some shellfish.

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