Galapagos penguin

Species profile

Name: the Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is a small penguin that is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is closely related to the African, Humboldt, and Magellanic penguins.

Appearance: Galapagos penguins have a black head with a white border running from behind the eye to the throat. They are black-grey on top and white underneath, with two black bands across their chests.

Size: they are the second smallest species of penguin – after the little penguin – growing to around 49 cm and weighing around 2.5 kg.

Diet: they typically eat small schooling fish such as mullet and sardines as well as the occasional crustacean.

Did you know: during El Nino events Galapagos penguins put off breeding because their food becomes less abundant. When a particularly severe El Nino event occurred in 1982 the population fell by a dramatic 77%. Since then the population has recovered although they are still the rarest penguins in the world.

Location: Galapagos penguins are endemic to the islands.

Best places to see Galapagos penguins

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the best places to see Galapagos penguins are as follows:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Galapagos Islands
very high
very good

Photo credit: Nancy Ney, under a Creative Commons license from Flickr

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