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Galapagos Penguin

Spheniscus mendiculus

Description:

The penguins stay in the archipelago. They stay by the Cromwell Current during the day since it is cooler and return to the land at night. The average size for the penguins is 48-50 cm (19-20 in) and 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs). They have a black head with a white border running from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, to join on the throat. They have blackish-grey upperparts and whitish underparts, with two black bands across the breast, the lower band extending down the flanks to the thigh. Juveniles differ in having a wholly dark head, greyer on side and chin, and no breast-band. The female penguins are smaller than the males, but are otherwise quite similar. They eat small schooling fish, mainly mullet, sardines, and sometimes crustaceans. They only go search for food during the day and normally within a few kilometers of their breeding site. They depend on the cold nutrient-rich currents to bring them food.

Habitat:

Endemic to the Galápagos Islands. It is the only penguin that lives north of the equator in the wild; it can survive due to the cool temperatures resulting from the Humboldt Current and cool waters from great depths brought up by the Cromwell Current. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Magellanic Penguin and the Humboldt Penguin. The Galápagos Penguin occurs primarily on Fernandina Island and the west coast of Isabela Island, but small populations are scattered on other islands in the Galápagos archipelago.

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Amy Raybuck
Spotted by
Amy Raybuck

Ecuador

Spotted on Mar 8, 2011
Submitted on Mar 21, 2011

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