Gentoo Penguin

~Animal of the Arctic~


  • Classification: Bird (National G)
  • Scientific Name: Pygoscelis papua (National G)
  • Weight (Male): 4.9 - 8.5 kg. (ARK)
  • Weight (Female): 4.5 - 8.2 k.g (ARK)
  • Height: 73-81 cm. (ARK)
  • Communicates by loud trumpeting when its head is thrown back. (ARK)
  • Has black head and throat. (ARK)
  • Sometimes includes scattering white feather-caps on the head. (ARK)
  • White patches are seen above each eye. (ARK)
  • Back is a bluish black. (ARK)
  • Webbed feet are peach colored. (National G)
  • Tail is long and feathery. (What's)

Photo: Boxley, Paul


  • Lives in:
  1. Antarctic Peninsula (ARK)
  2. Sub-Antarctic Islands (ARK)
  3. South Georgia (IUCN)
  4. Falkland Islands (IUCN)
  5. sheltered valleys (National G)
  6. cliffs (National G)
  7. coastal plains (National G)
  • Terrain includes:
  1. rocky areas (ARK)
  2. ice (ARK)
  3. water (National G)
  4. low lying gravel beach (IUCN)
  5. dry moraines (IUCN)
  • Home is a circular nest built out of stone, feathers, seaweed, pebbles, or other materials the penguin can find. (What's)

Photo: Serene Blue

Food Chain

  • Carnivore (National G)
  • Hunts in the ocean (National G)
  • Predator to: fish, squid, and crustaceans. (IUCN)
  • Prey to: Leopard seals, sea lions, orcas, and humans. (National G)
  • Chicks are prey to: Skuas, caracos. (National G)
  • Diets vary depending on the penguins' locations. (ARK)
Photo: Henderson, Scot
Swimming Antractic Gentoo Penguins
Video: Swimming Antractic


  • When in danger, the Gentoo Penguin will run away. (What's)
  • Their colonies are small. (What's)
  • These penguins also rarely come back to the same nesting area every year. (What's)
  • For hunting, the Gentoo Penguins have stream-like bodies and paddle-shaped flippers. (National G)
  • These Penguins usually spend the whole day hunting. (National G)
  • They are also able to remain in the water for up to seven minutes, and are able to dive up do 200 meters. (National G)
Photo: Willaert, Rita

Endangerment and Critical Information

  • Protection Status: None (IUCN)
  • Received "Near Endangered" status in 2007, and latest check was in 2010. (IUCN)
  • They are endangered because: (IUCN)
  1. adults are harvested for oil and skin
  2. eaten by leopard seals, sea lions, and orcas
  3. local pollution
  4. egg collection
  5. tourism disturbance lowers breeding
  6. interaction with fisheries
  7. associated marine traffic
  • What can be done to save the penguins: (IUCN)
  1. long-term monitering
  2. decrease in oil pollution or other types of pollution
  3. minimize the amount of tourism around breeding colonies

Photo: Kinmartin, Scott