Gentoo penguin Facts

Gentoo penguin Facts
Gentoo penguin is the third largest species of penguin (after Emperor and king penguin). There are two subspecies of gentoo penguin that can be found on the islands in the sub-Antarctic region and on the Antarctic peninsula. Gentoo penguin inhabits coastal plains and rocky cliffs. Eggs of gentoo penguins were used as a source of food in the past, while adult birds served as a source of skin and oil. Major threats for the survival of gentoo penguins today are pollution of the sea, increased human activity in the breeding areas and large number of fishing nets (which represent death trap). Even though there are around 300.000 breeding couples in the wild, number of gentoo penguins is declining rapidly on some islands, which is why gentoo penguin is classified as near threatened.
Interesting Gentoo penguin Facts:
Gentoo penguin can reach 20 to 36 inches in height and 8.8 to 18 pounds of weight.
Gentoo penguin has bluish-black plumage on the back and white plumage on the belly. It can be easily recognized by wide white strap on top of the black head that stretches to the eyes.
Gentoo penguin has orange-red bill, paddle-shaped flippers, light-pink webbed feet, streamlined body and relatively long, brush-like tail.
Gentoo penguin is a carnivore. Its diet is based on the crustaceans, squids and fish.
Gentoo penguin is the fastest species of penguin. It can reach the speed of 22 miles per hour, dive to a depth of 655 feet and remain submerged for up to 7 minutes. Gentoo penguin can dive up to 450 times per day to find food.
Natural enemies of gentoo penguins are killer whales, sharks, leopard seals, sea lions and humans.
Gentoo penguins communicate via various calls. Trumpeting sound (accompanied with throwing of head backwards) can be often heard.
Mating season of gentoo penguins takes place between June and November.
Gentoo penguins gather in colonies of 30 to few thousand animals during the breeding season.
Gentoo penguins often form pairs that last for a lifetime. They return to the same breeding areas from year to year.
Each couple constructs nest in the rocky area using the stones, moss, grass and feathers. Males aggressively protect their stones and even fight to prevent stealing of stones from the nest.
Female lays 2 eggs. Both male and female participate in the incubation of eggs during a period of 31 to 39 days.
Both parents provide food for their chicks. Young gentoo penguins spend first 30 days of their life in the nest. They fledge at the age of 80 to 100 days and become ready to swim and hunt on their own shortly afterward.
Gentoo penguins reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 years.
Gentoo penguin has an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

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