The Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) (also termed Peruvian Penguin, or Patranca) is a South American penguin, that breeds in coastal Peru and Chile.
Description and habitat
Humboldt penguins or spheniscus humboldti are non-flying birds which inhabit the Chilean and Peruvian coasts in the Pacific Ocean. These animals are named after the cold water current they swim in, which is itself named after the explorer Alexander van Humboldt.
These birds have a compact appearance. Their plumage is black in their back and white in their chest and ventral zone. Moreover, they present a black-feathers band around their chest and some black patches in their ventral zone. The skin in their face is rosy and their beck is filled with grey and black patches. They are around 1.5-2 feet tall and about 9-11 pounds weight.
Roaming individuals have been rarely seen in the Atlantic. Their populations have decreased drastically because of the lack of nesting areas, the decrease in the feeding variety, the human predation and especially as a result of the impact of severe meteorological phenomena −i.e. El Niño.
Society and reproduction
They live in colonies in coastal protected points and islands together with other guano bird species. For nesting, they dig holes in the guano or in the saline ground or they use the cracks they find in rocks or in natural caves. When humans take the guano from the islands for industrial purposes, penguins cannot dig in the rocks and so their chances to breed easily are limited.
Penguins lay two eggs of different size. Both eggs are incubated by both the father and the mother during about 35 days. The first chick is usually the only one which survives. Chicks are protected in their nests until they are 20 days old. Then they meet other chicks and stay together in big nursery schools while their parents go looking for feeding. Both the father and the mother keep on feeding their chicks during two months and a half.
An threatened especies
Humboldt penguins are an endangered species. Several researchers study these animals and find them very interesting, but they are constantly chased by humans because of their gastronomic qualities. Chicks are also highly prized as pets.
Mundomar contributes to the protection of this animal species and supports the research against their extinction.
En Mundomar contribuimos a la conservación de esta especie animal y a la investigación para su continuidad.