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African Penguin

African Penguin
African Penguin

Animal's Behavior

The most notable aspect of African Penguin behavior is the loud donkey-like braying noise emitted during the ecstatic display. The display is used as a courtship ritual but also to reinforce pair bonds. Allopreening (preening each other) can commonly be observed in African penguins. Penguins cannot easily preen their own heads and necks and if on their own they use their feet to do so. Allopreening is thus highly practical for cleaning and rearranging their feathers or for removing parasites.

Eating Habits

African penguin's diet consists mainly of fish, such as pilchards, sardines and anchovies, and crustaceans. Penguins may travel considerable distances to feed, up to 4 miles. On average a penguin will eat about 4-6 pounds of fish a day.


Between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with the largest colony on Dyer Island, near Kleinbaai

Conservation Efforts

The African penguin is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Animal Facts

  • African penguins are warm weather penguins.

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Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Spheniscus demersus


Animalia, Chordata, Aves, Sphenisciformes, Spheniscidae

Place of Birth

South-western coast of Africa


27 inches tall and 4-11 pounds


Black and white


20 years in the wild

Conservation Status


Where to See

Audubon Aquarium

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