Chinstrap Penguin

Chinstrap Penguin Pygoscelis antarcticus

Type of Animal:

Large icebergs in open ocean/sea, open ocean/sea, rocky coasts, intertidal zone, tundra, polar/subpolar areas, nearshore areas, beachfronts (rocky & sandy), steep slopes, continental coasts, pack ice

Antarctic & sub-Antarctic. Also in far S Chile & Argentina as well as Falkland Islands & French Southern Lands. Vagrants seen in New Zealand, S Africa, & islands of St Helena & Tristan Da Cunha.

Black flippers w/ white edge, black back, white underside, pink legs/webbed feet, black bill, white chin/throat, black head, white face, black stripe around chin, chicks have fluffy gray backs & white fronts

Krill, fish, squid, shrimp, crabs

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquariums, marine parks, & zoos

Colonies range from 70,000-1,000,000 monogamous pairs.

Additional Info:

Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Colony
Male: 13 lbs
Female: 10 lbs
Young: 6 lbs

32-37 days 

Life Span:
15-20 years

Male: 2.5 ft
Female: 2.25 ft

Body Length:
Male: 2.5 ft
Female: 2.25 ft

Tail Length:
1 ft

Main predators of adults are leopard seals, orcas/killer whales, fur seals, sea lions, elephant seals, southern giant petrels, skuas, & sharks. Snowy sheathbills & kelp gulls prey on chicks
Most abundant penguin species in world.
Also called stonecracker, stonebreaker, ringed, and/or bearded penguin.
Like all penguins, they’re flightless.
They’ll swim as far as 50 miles off shore each day to hunt.
They can swim 18 mph.
After breeding season done, adults stay onshore for 2 extra weeks to moult.
To create potential lifelong pairs, male beats on chest w/ flippers, raising head to screech. Then other males do same thing to synchronize breeding season, which occurs from November-December.
Pygoscelis means rump-legged.
They can lose half their weight during breeding/rearing season b/c parents take turns staying w/ 1-2 eggs/chicks while other goes out to sea to hunt.

Fun Fact(s):
Oldest living animal lived to be 34 & was at Moody Gardens in Galveston. She died in 2017.
In 2004, 2 males at Central Park Zoo, Roy & Silo, formed homosexual pair-bond & took turns trying to hatch rock, which was eventually replaced w/ fertile eggs. The 2 boys raised the chick. Children’s book And Tango Makes Three based on this event.
They “toboggan” when they lie on stomach & push themselves along w/ feet.
Stonebreaker/stonecracker name doesn’t come from habit of collecting stones for nests but due to screech so piercing that it could break stones.
Can dive as deep as 230 ft.

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