Monday, November 7, 2011

Magellanic Penguin

Spheniscus magellanicus
Magellanic Penguins, named for explorer who first spotted them in the 16th century, are medium sized warm weather penguins. They are called warm weather penguins because they live rather far north during the winter, living off the coats of Brazil and northern Argentina.

They are adapted to cold weather, sporting layers of fat and thick feathers. However, Magellanic Penguins are also used to the warm weather as well. When it gets hot they shed feathers around their eyes and bills to keep cool.

Magellanic Penguins live in very large flocks that travel together from the breeding and wintering grounds. It is estimated that there are over 1,000,000 breeding pairs, all of whom maintain monogamous bonds for life.

Though there are literally millions of these birds out there, they are considered to be Near Threatened. This is because populations that live in large colonies are very susceptible to oil pollution. It is estimated that 40,000 die every year from oil off the coast of Argentina.

IUCN Status : Near Threatened
Location : South America
Size : Height up to 30in (76cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Sphenisciformes
Family : Spheniscidae -- Genus : Spheniscus -- Species : S. magellanicus

1 comment:

  1. I love them! I got to see these guys at Seno Otway when I lived in Chile!


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