The Adelie Penguin
September 2012: Did you know that the Adelie Penguin was named in the 1830s by French Antarctic explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville for his wife Adelie? It is the most familiar Antarctic penguin and is known to be smaller than other species of penguins. It is a close relative of the Gentoo Penguin and the Chinstrap Penguin.
Its diet mainly consists of krill, fish and squid and it is a competent swimmer. The leopard seal is its main predator. It lives in huge colonies during the spring breeding season in October along the Antarctic coastline. It builds nests with small stones and competes for nesting sites. Parents take turns to incubate the eggs and keep them safe from predators while their partner ventures out to sea. To save energy while incubating its eggs, the Adelie Penguin can lower its body temperature by atleast 40C below the norm. It is an adept walker and can walk for long distances on land. It can walk as long as 50 km. in spring, just before the ice begins to melt, from its nests on land to open waters. It weighs between 3.9 to 5.8 kg. and is easily distinguished by the white rings around its eyes. However, it is hard to tell males and females apart without close inspection.
First appeared in: Sanctuary Cub, September 2012