Adelie Penguin

Adelie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae

Type of Animal:

Seas surrounding pack ice, shallower coastal waters, large coastal ice platforms, coastal beaches, icebergs, rock slopes, ledges, cliffs, beachfronts, rocky shores

Antarctic coast

Tuxedo appearance, long feathers, pinkish feet, white chest/belly, black back, white ring around eye, reddish-pinkish bill, brushy tail

Krill, squid, fish, amphipods, jellyfish

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquariums, marine parks, & zoos, creation of marine reserves

Highly colonial, ranging from thousands to 180,000 monogamous pairs

Additional Info:

Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Colony

Male: 11-13 lbs
Female: 9 lbs
Young: 6 lbs

1 month 

Life Span:
11-20 years

Male: 2.4 ft
Female: 2.3 ft

Body Length:
Male: 2.4 ft
Female: 2.3 ft

Tail Length:
0.9-1 ft

Main predators of adults are orcas/killer whales, leopard seals, elephant seals, skuas, & giant petrels. Kelp gulls & snowy sheathbills prey on chicks.
Breeds in spring to early summer from October-December.
When 1-2 eggs laid, parents take turns incubating & hunting w/ parent staying behind not eating.
1-2 penguin chicks stay w/ parents for 3 weeks, then gather into group called crèche w/ other chicks.
Once down replaced w/ waterproof feathers at around 9 weeks, they’ll start to hunt on own.
Named after Adelie Land-Antarctic area claimed by French. Other derivation from French Antarctic explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville’s wife Adele after discovering them in 1840.
Pygoscelis means rump-legged.
Males avid nest builders & attract potential lifelong mate by building biggest/best nest-they use small rocks collected from surrounding areas-if they think nest not up to par-they’ll steal from neighbors.
Sexually mature at age 3.
A walk from nesting area to the sea may be as much as 31 miles.
Like all penguins, they’re flightless.
Modified wings help propel them through water instead of air.
Highly faithful to nesting sites.
Like most birds, they lack teeth. Instead, they have tooth-shaped barbs on tongue/mouth roof.

Fun Fact(s):
Walk from nesting area to sea may be as much as 31 miles.
Young penguins that haven’t learned to read social cues sometimes attempt to mate w/ wrong partners for creating offspring, such as same-sex individuals, chicks, or dead individuals.
Been known to dive as deep as 575 ft.
Migrate an average of 8,077-8,078 miles a year, moving from hunting to breeding grounds & back again. Some migrations long as 10,940 miles.

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