Rockhopper Penguin

Rockhopper Penguin

Birds

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: rockhopper penguin
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Sphenisciformes
FAMILY: Spheniscidae
GENUS SPECIES: Eudyptes chrysocome

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: The smallest of the crested penguins, rockhoppers have a thin yellow crest that extends behind their red eyes. They also have black spiked feathers above their crest.
SIZE: 41-46 cm (16-18 in.)
WEIGHT: 2.5 kg (5-6 lb.)
DIET: fishes, squids, krill
INCUBATION: 32-34 days
CLUTCH SIZE 2 eggs
SEXUAL MATURITY: 3-8 years
LIFE SPAN: 10-20 years
RANGE: subantarctic islands
HABITAT: Nests on rocky shores
POPULATION: GLOBAL 7,340,000 individuals
STATUS: IUCN Vulnerable
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. Crested penguins (genus Eudyptes) lay two eggs. The second-laid egg and the subsequent chick is usually the larger of the two and usually the survivor. It typically hatches first or at the same time as the chick from the first-laid egg. The first-laid egg is often kicked out of the nest by the adults prior to hatching time.
2. As their name implies, rockhopper penguins have been observed jumping from rock to rock.
3. For more information about penguins, explore the PENGUIN INFOBOOK.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

All 18 penguin species are legally protected from hunting and egg collecting. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 makes it illegal to harm, or in any way interfere with, a penguin or its eggs. Every penguin specimen collected with a permit must be approved by and reported to the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR). Penguins are vulnerable to habitat destruction, overfishing of primary food sources, ecological disasters such as oil spills, pollution such as trash in the ocean, and human encroachment into nesting areas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BirdLife International (2006) Species factsheet: Eudyptes chrysocome. Downloaded from birdlife.org

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

Nuzzolo, Debbie. Penguin March. SeaWorld Education Department, 2002.