Gentoo Penguin

Gentoo Penguin

Birds

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

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

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: Orange-red bills and feet set these penguins apart from their close relatives, the Adélies and chinstraps. Gentoos also have a white "cap" extending from eye to eye over the top of their heads.
SIZE: 61-76 cm (24-30 in)
WEIGHT: 5.5-6.4 kg (12-14 lbs)
DIET: Primarily krill and small fish species
INCUBATION: 34-36 days; after hatching, parents brood chicks for an additional 25-35 days
SEXUAL MATURITY: No data
LIFE SPAN: 15-20 years
RANGE: Circumpolar in subantarctic and Antarctic waters; avoid pack ice
HABITAT: Colonies can be inland or coastal on Antarctic and subantarctic island and peninsulas. Tend to breed on ice-free ground on beaches, in valleys, on inland hills, and on cliff tops.
POPULATION: GLOBAL 317,000 breeding pairs
STATUS: IUCN No data
CITES No data
USFWS No data

FUN FACTS

1. During deep dives, gentoo penguins reduce their heart rate from 80-100 beats per minute (bpm) down to 20 bpm.
2. Gentoo penguins use nesting materials ranging from pebbles and molted feathers in Antarctica to vegetation on subantarctic islands.
3. Gentoos are the third largest penguin, following the emperor and king.
4. 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.