Gentoo Penguin

Theme area:  Isla de Hielo
Scientific name:  Pygoscelis papua
Class:  Birds
Continent:  Antarctica
Habitat:  Polar Region
Diet:  Piscivorous
Weight:  5 - 8 kg
Size:  70 - 80 cm
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Found on the Antarctic Peninsula, as well as on many sub-Antarctic islands. They prefer altitudes of around 115 metres above sea level along the coast because snow in these areas tends to melt first.

Like all penguin species, Gentoo penguins' undersides are white while their backs are black. This adaptation is useful when swimming underwater to avoid being seen by predators and prey. Gentoo penguins typically dive at depths of 3 to 20 metres.

They are monogamous during the breeding season and some pair bonds last a lifetime. Couples may break up between breeding seasons, although this does not occur very often. If so, the females then choose a new mate that has shown greater reproductive success. They build their nests on the ground using rounded, flat pebbles, which are widespread in their breeding grounds. Clutches consist of 2 eggs and are incubated by both parents for 35 days.

Their main threats come from overfishing and pollution of the seas and oceans.

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


They have a bright dark orange-red spot on each side of their beaks resulting from the carotenoids absorbed from the krill they eat.
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