galapagos penguin
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Galapagos Penguins, Spheniscus mendiculus

Galapagos Penguins, Spheniscus mendiculus | galapagos penguin | Scoop.it
Find out what's known about Galapagos Penguins including their world range and habitats, feeding behaviors, life history, ecology, reproduction, and conservation status.
Jonathan Wong's insight:

1.Yes, penguins do exist on the equator! Galapagos penguins, Spheniscus mendiculus (Sundevall, 1871), are the most northerly occurring of all the penguins (third smallest of the world's 17 or so penguin species as well). They stand 40-45 cm tall and weigh 1.6-2.5 kg

2.Galapagos penguins have a thin white band that runs under their chin and a black upside down horseshoe shape around their belly. The Galapagos penguin may look like the magellanic penguin but they are smaller and their black markings on their belly are thinner

3.They are found only around the Galapagos and Isabela Islands just north of the Equator.

4.Galapagos penguins are thought to have been brought to the Galapagos islands by the Humboldt Current, which brings cold waters and nutrients north from Antarctica. One of the main problems for these penguins is keeping cool

5.Living close to the equator it can get to over 38°C during the daytime. They keep cool by swimming and hunting for food in the cold water of the Cromwell Current during the day

6. During the cool nights they sleep and nest on the land. They hold their flippers out to help cool themselves and protect their feet from getting sunburned by holding their flippers over their feet when on land.

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ADW: Spheniscus mendiculus: INFORMATION

ADW: Spheniscus mendiculus: INFORMATION | galapagos penguin | Scoop.it
Jonathan Wong's insight:

1.Galapagos penguins occupy coastal areas and offshore waters where the cold Cromwell Current brings food and other population-sustaining necessities into the vicinity. These birds rest on sandy shores and rocky beaches and nest on areas of sheltered coast. Galapagos penguins primarily breed on the larger islands of Fernandina and Isabela where they lay eggs in caves or holes found in the volcanic rock of the islands

2.Galapagos penguins are fairly small penguins, averaging only 53 cm in height and ranging in weight from 1.7 to 2.6 kg. Sexual dimorphism exists, in that males are slightly larger than females. Galapagos penguins are the smallest members of the Spheniscus or "banded" penguins

3.alapagos penguins can live for 15 to 20 years. Because of high mortality rates due to predation, starvation, climatic events, and human disturbance, most Galapagos penguins do not live to such ages.

4.Galapagos penguins rely on a series of vocal calls and sounds as well as a complex array of body movements for varying communication purposes. Vocalizations are crucial in helping to identify mates and chicks. These calls, along with body movements such as wing-flapping, help to deter egg-snatching predators

5.Galapagos penguins are carnivorous and eat all types of small fish (no longer than 15 mm in length) and other small marine invertebrates. Prey species include anchovies (Engraulidae), sardines and pilchards (Cleupidae), and mullets (Mulgilidae)

6.As adults, Galapagos penguins are preyed on by hawks and owls, as well as feral cats and dogs. When foraging for food in the water, Galapagos penguins are preyed on by sharks and other large, marine animals. The pattern of black and white countershading on their body makes them difficult to see underwater. A predator looking from above will see a black-colored backside of the penguin that blends in with the darker, deeper water.

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Galapagos penguin

Galapagos penguin | galapagos penguin | Scoop.it
The Galápagos penguin (scientific name Spheniscus mendiculus) is one of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family Spheniscidae (the penguins). It is
Jonathan Wong's insight:

1. According to the IUCN Red List and the United States Endangered Species Act, Galapagos penguins are currently listed as endangered

2.Due to climatic changes brought about by El Niño and La Niña cycles, the food supply available to the Galapagos penguins varies greatly. These unpredictable shifts in food supply often lead to starvation and deaths and a substantial decline in the already dwindling penguin population. 

3. The main threat facing this penguin is the fluctuation in food supply, compounded by El Niño and La Niña events. The 1982-1983 'El Niño' Southern Oscillation (ENSO) resulted in the catastrophic loss of 77% of the population through starvation

4. human disturbance is damaging the nesting grounds of these, the most northerly of penguins. In the past, there has been little effort to protect the species. Recently, however, the Galapagos Conservation Trust launched the Sylvia Harcourt-Carrasco Bird Life Fund for the Galapagos, which will aim much of its efforts at conserving the population of Galapagos penguins

5. The total range of the Galapagos penguin is contained within the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve.

6. It is now thought that the species is experiencing another recovery phase. Other threats facing this beleaguered penguin include predation by introduced feral animals such as dogs and cats, increased disturbance by tourists, pollution (including oil spills), and fishing.

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