Magellanic Penguin

Theme area:  Isla de Hielo
Scientific name:  Spheniscus magellanicus
Class:  Birds
Continent:  Antarctica
Habitat:  Polar Region
Diet:  Piscivorous
Weight:  2,7 - 4,8 kg
Size:  42 - 45 cm
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The Magellanic penguin lives and breeds in the neotropical region, along the southern coast of South America.

It has no sexual dimorphism. Its hydrodynamic body, the thickness of its feathers and its flippers instead of wings are an evolutionary adaptation to its marine life. The colour pattern of its plumage, like that of other penguins, acts as marine camouflage. Its dark back allows it to go unnoticed by predators that see it from above, as it blends into the background, and its white belly creates the same effect with the brightness of the ground for those looking from below.

It is a migratory and monogamous bird, which maintains its pair bonds for many seasons. It emits vocalisations called brays during courtship. It nests near the shore, under bushes, in crevices and also digs burrows in the subsoil if necessary. It breeds in colonies of up to 200,000 individuals and hatches asymmetrically. Clutched consist of 2 eggs and the incubation period lasts 40 to 42 days, both parents are responsible for the task of incubation and feeding.

Threats include oil spills, pollution, overfishing and getting caught in fishing nets.

Conservation Status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


They drink seawater which they filter through salt excretory glands located in the anterior corner of their eye cavity.
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