Adélie Penguin

Adélie Penguin

Birds

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: Adélie penguin
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Sphenisciformes
FAMILY: Spheniscidae
GENUS SPECIES: Pygoscelis adeliae

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: Medium-sized penguin with classic "tuxedo" appearance. The Adélie has a black head and will develop white eye rings during the breeding season. Adélie penguins are one of three species of "brush-tail" penguins along with the chinstrap and gentoo penguins.
SIZE: 46-61 cm (18-24 in)
WEIGHT: 3.6-4.5 kg (8-10 lbs)
DIET: Primarily small krill
INCUBATION: 34 days; after hatching, parents brood chicks for an additional 22 days
SEXUAL MATURITY: No data
LIFE SPAN: 15-20 years
RANGE: Circumpolar on and around Antarctic continent. One of only two species restricted to Antarctica (the other species is the emperor).
HABITAT: Usually found within the limits of the Antarctic icepack
POPULATION: GLOBAL 2.5 million breeding pairs
STATUS: IUCN No data
CITES No data
USFWS No data

FUN FACTS

1. Adélies build their nests with stones are known to steal stones from the nests of rival breeding pairs.
2. Members of this genus have short, wedge-shaped tails, with 14-18 stiff tail feathers. They are known to rock back on their heel and prop themselves up on land utilizing their tail feathers.
3. Studies with Adélies indicate that they use the sun to navigate from land to sea. The adjust for the sun's changing position in the sky throughout the day.
4. A colony of 5 million Adélies may eat nearly 8 million kg (17.6 million lb.) of krill and small fishes daily.
5. Research has demonstrated that Adélie Penguins are very faithful to their nest sites. In one study, male Adélies were faithful to the previous year's territory 99% of the time.
6. For more information about penguins, explore the PENGUIN INFOBOOK.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

All 18 species of penguin are legally protected from hunting and egg collecting. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 makes it illegal to harm, or in any way interfered with, a penguin or its eggs. Every penguin specimen collected with a permit must by approved by and reported to the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Penguins - Third Edition. SeaWorld Education Department, 1996.

Coats, Judith. Penguins: Flightless Birds of the Southern Hemisphere. SeaWorld Education Department, 2001.