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African Penguins

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Sometimes known as the 'Jackass Penguin' for it’s loud braying call


This is a medium-sized penguin, and the only penguin species breeding on the African continent. The African penguin has a robust, heavyset body, and is black on the back and white below, with variable black markings on the breast and belly.

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

Smart Feathers


They have small muscles at the base of each feather that enable the feathers to be held tightly against the body whilst in water, forming a waterproof layer; alternatively, on land the feathers are held erect, trapping an insulating layer of air around the body. They have evolved to keep out the cold, so generally speaking, the smaller the penguin the hotter the climate it comes from.

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Key Facts

Family:
Spheniscidae
Diet:
Fish, like anchovies and sardines
Height:
70cm
Life Span:
10 years wild | 30 years captivity
Number of Young:
2 eggs
Distribution:
Southern Africa
Habitat:
From Nambia along the western coast to South Africa
Did you know?
The African penguin is also known as the 'jackass penguin' due to its loud braying call.

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