It belongs to the penguin family Spheniscidae, and is classified as Spheniscus demersus. The genus to which the African penguin belongs, Spheniscus, derives its name from the Ancient Greek word sphen (‘wedge’), referring to their streamlined body shape.
How did the African penguin get its name?
The genus name Spheniscus is derived from the ancient Greek word sphen, which means wedge, referring to the streamlined body shape of the African penguin. The species name demersus is Latin meaning plunging or sinking, referring to its diving behaviour.
What is another name for African penguins?
African penguin, (Spheniscus demersus), also called black-footed penguin, Cape penguin, or jackass penguin, species of penguin (order Sphenisciformes) characterized by a single band of black feathers cutting across the breast and a circle of featherless skin that completely surrounds each eye.
How are African penguins different from other penguins?
African penguins have a distinct, sharply pointed beak and black feet. The African penguin is one of the smallest penguin species. Males are generally slightly larger than their female counterparts. African penguins are also widely known as “jackass” penguins, for their donkey-like bray.
Why do African penguins live in Africa?
African penguins live in colonies on the coast and islands of southern Africa. … To keep dry and insulated in cold water, African penguins are covered in dense, water-proof feathers. These feathers are white on the belly and black on the back, which aids in camouflage.
Do penguins live Africa?
Not all penguins live where it’s cold—African penguins live at the southern tip of Africa. Like other penguins, African penguins spend most of the day feeding in the ocean, and that helps keep them cool. Their land habitat can get quite warm, but bare skin on their legs and around their eyes helps them stay cool.
What are baby penguins called?
Penguin babies, called “chicks,” are covered in fuzzy down feathers which help to keep them warm.
Why are African penguins dying?
African penguins have been sliding towards extinction since industrial fishing started around the Cape. … BirdLife International report that recent data have revealed that the African penguin is undergoing a very rapid population decline, probably as a result of commercial fisheries and shifts in prey populations.
How long do African penguins live?
LIFE CYCLE: This penguin’s average lifespan in the wild is 20 years. FEEDING: African penguins feed on pelagic schooling fish, particularly sardine and anchovy.
What is the color of an African penguin?
Appearance: The African penguin is a mid-sized penguin. Like other species in the Spheniscus genus, it is characterized by its black and white bands. Its back is mostly black, while its underbody is mostly white, but its head and neck show a combination of black and white with some pink patches.
What temperature do African penguins live in?
These birds live in inshore coastal waters where the temperature is 5-20o C (41-68o F). They come to land to breed, molt, and rest. The islands they inhabit are either flat and sandy with sparse to abundant vegetation or rocky with almost no vegetation.
What are the predators of African penguins?
Predators: African penguins face predation by gulls, feral cats and mongoose while nesting on land, sharks and fur seals prey on African penguins in the water.
How many African penguins are left 2021?
There are 140,000 African Penguins left in the world.
Where do African penguins sleep?
Penguins possess an exceptional skill to sleep in the water or while standing up. On some occasions, they sleep with their beaks popped-in below their wings.
Are there tigers in Africa?
Tigers as we know them, you see, have never lived in the wild in Africa. … Lions, leopards and tigers are all part of the Felidae family of cats, which originated in Africa and share a common ancestor.
Does it snow in Africa?
Snow is an almost annual occurrence on some of the mountains of South Africa, including those of the Cedarberg and around Ceres in the South-Western Cape, and on the Drakensberg in Natal and Lesotho. … Additionally, snow regularly falls in the Atlas Mountains in the Maghreb.