Gentoo Penguin

Gentoo Penguin

Description: The Gentoo Penguin is easily identified by the vertical white stripe that extends from the top of the head to the eye. Adults are black above and white below with a bright red bill and red feet. The Gentoo is the largest penguin species other than the King or Emperor Penguin, and may reach three feet in height and weigh up to 15 pounds. The Gentoo Penguin is the fastest swimming penguin and may reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hours underwater.

Diet: Mostly krill, but some fish and crustaceans.

Range: The Gentoo Penguin breeds on many groups of sub-Antarctic islands, including the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Kerguelen Islands, Macquarie Island, Heard Islands, South Shetland Islands, and most of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Nesting: The female lays two eggs in late spring or summer in a nest made of stones. The stones can be a source of major aggression between the penguins, and it is common for one penguin to steal stones from another’s nest. Both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs and usually switch off on a daily basis. The eggs hatch in about five weeks and the chicks remains in the nest for about 30 days before forming creches (huddles) with other chicks. The survival of both chicks is dependent on the food supply. After about 90 days, the young Gentoos venture out into the sea.

Status: Though less common than some penguin species, recent estimates indicate about 300,000 nesting pairs.

Gentoo Penguin Video

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Gentoo Penguin