Macaroni Penguin

Macaroni Penguin
MACARONI PENGUIN (Eudyptes chrysolophus)
Pronounced: (Yu-dip-tees kriy-so-lo-fus) Order: Sphenisciformes
Kingdom: Animalia Family: Spheniscidae
Phylum: Chordata Genus: Eudyptes
Class: Aves Species: Chrysolophus


Macaroni Penguins are the most numerous penguins in the world. There are about 9 million breeding pairs in the world. They range from the subAntarctic to the Antarctic Peninsula.

They breed on beaches and rocky slopes, building nests of pebbles, or laying eggs directly on bare rock. They usually lay 2 eggs, about 5 days apart, but the 2nd egg is much larger than the first. The first egg almost never survives. Both parents incubate the eggs for the first five weeks, taking turns going to sea for food. Sometimes the chicks have to wait up to a week before their mothers return with their first meal. After that, the male stays with the chick while the mother goes foraging, returning the same day with food. After about 3 weeks, both parents go to sea to hunt, leaving the chicks in groups called croches where they huddle together for protection from predators and cold weather. They fledge and leave their parents at about 11 weeks old.

Macaroni Penguins travel up to 400 km from their nesting sites, to reach their oceanic feeding sites, where they dine on crustaceans, squid and fish. They are usually found near land only during nesting season and will migrate long distances out to sea when not nesting.

They grow up to 70 cm long and weigh about 5.5 kg. Common predators are sea lions, orcas, gulls, skuas, and birds of prey.


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