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African Penguins

The African Penguin is endemic to southern Africa with the largest concentrations along the Benguela Current, which brings nutrient-rich water to the west coast of South Africa and Namibia.


A medium-sized penguin, with a robust, heavyset body. 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. 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 and up to 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 it's loud braying call.

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