the adelie penguins look as though they are wearing a tuxedo

The Adelie penguin was named by a man named Dumont d'Urville, a French explorer in 1830. Thirty-eight colonies, (around 5 million penguins), are found in the Ross Sea Region alone. There are roughly 500,000 of the adelie penguins on Ross Island itself. This Antarctic bird is commonly found along the Antarctic coast and a few islands, beaches, and headlands nearby.

Physical Description

These penguins look as though they are wearing a tuxedo. They have bright white bellies, black wings and a black back. They are distinguished looking with a white ring around their eyes. They has a short red bill that is partially covered with feathers.

This species of penguin weighs in at about 10 pounds and ranges between 26 to 27.5 inches in length. They tail is a bit longer in comparison to other penguin species. Juvenile Adelie penguins are easily spotted with their white chins and uniformly black plumage. This penguin species is the smallest of all the adelie penguin species found in the Antarctic.

The Adelie Diet

This penguin is a diving bird and has the ability to dive to 578 feet below the surface to catch their prey, although most times they won't need to go deeper than 65 feet below the water's surface. They are fish eatting birds. Krill is their favorite meal, but they'll also feast on other fish species if they're available.

Breeding Habits

tHEY live among hundreds of other Adelies in large colonies. They'll begin to come ashore in October to build a nest and breed. The nest of this penguin is a rough scrape lined with smooth pebbles.

An interesting fact about Adelie penguins is that they'll actually steal pebbles from the nest of a neighboring penguin to line their own nest, instead of searching for their own.

Both parents incubate the eggs (brown or green in color), but they do so one at a time, taking turns. One egg is laid first, and then another egg is laid two days later.

They're incubated for 32 to 37 days. As a result, the chick born first will typically have a better chance of survival, since they're larger and stronger and get most of the food. If the young one lives, it's surprising.

Once the chicks are two weeks old, the parents will form what are called crèches, which translates into "infant bed". This is where several Adelie penguin chicks gather together for safety after the parents leave them. At the age of nine weeks or so, the chicks will leave the nest and take to the water.

Cool Facts about the adelie Penguins

• They are powerful swimmers. • On land, they'll move around by sliding on the ice on their bellies. • their chicks grow faster than any other penguin chick species. • Leopard seals are the predator they fear most. • Instead of drinking water, they eat snow. • They have a unique gland in their nose that actually removes the salt from the ocean water when they are catching fish to eat.

Conservation status

With two million pairs of Adelie penguins believed to be in existence, this penguin species is not considered endangered.

other penguins

Other diving birds

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