Wednesday, June 20, 2018

African Penguin

The African penguin, also known as the jackass penguin, and black-footed penguin, can only be found in southwestern Africa, from Namibia to Port Elizabeth in South Africa, with three colonies on the mainland and 24 colonies on islands. It is an endangered species, with an estimated 55,000 as of 2010, but expected to be extinct in the wild by 2026. 

They have a black facial mask, black upper body, a white chest, a black stripe up the sides and across the chest, and small black spots on the chest that are unique to each individual. They have pink glands above the eyes that help regulate cooling. As the penguin gets hotter, more blood is sent to the glands and they get pinker. 
The adult has a black mask and pink mark above the eye. The youngsters lack the pink mark and are mostly covered with a brown down. 
A youngster in a different stage of development. 
The black chest strip and spots are visible. 
Juveniles are not as delineated as adults. They have dark upperparts that range from grayish-blue to brown and pale underparts that lack the spots and the stripe. 
A mixture of ages.

These are the penguins I remember from my youth. Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City had them on display and we could watch them from above or below as they swam underwater. 

We visited Boulder Beach on the Cape Peninsula and had a wonderful time watching them. 

We also visited Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town, to see where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. We also saw penguins on that island. 

1 comment:

  1. I had not even noticed those dots on their chests. I love their tuxedo outfits.