Macaroni Penguin

Macaroni Penguin

Scientific Classification

Common Name
macaroni penguin
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Sphenisciformes
Family
Spheniscidae
Genus Species
Eudyptes chrysolophus

Fast Facts

Description
A crest of yellow-orange and black plumes extend backwards on the sides of the head, above the eyes. Macaroni penguins have red eyes.
Size
51–61 cm (20–24 in.)
Weight
4.5 kg (10 lbs.)
Diet
Squids and krill
Incubation
33–40 days
Clutch Size
2 eggs
Sexual Maturity
Male: 6 years
Female: 5 years
Life Span
15–20 years
Range
subantarctic islands in the Southern Atlantic and Indian oceans
Habitat
Flat ground or on steep slopes
Population
Global: about 9 million breeding pairs
Status 
IUCN: Vulnerable
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

  1. Macaroni penguins lay two eggs in a nest which is usually built in shade under vegetation or rocks.
  2. Both parents incubate the eggs, rotating about every 7 to 12 days.
  3. The early English explorers named this penguin. In the mid-18th century, a young man who wore flashy feathers in his hat was called a "Macaroni." This is also the origin for the words to "Yankee Doodle" sung during the Revolutionary War to poke fun at the poorly dressed Continental Army. The English explorers thought the yellow feathers of this penguin were like a fancy young man called a "macaroni."
  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 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 chrysolophus. 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.