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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.