Galapagos Penguins

Spheniscus mendiculus

1. Food Chain and Habitat

  • they are carnivores and eat only fish that they find/hunt in the ocean (all sources)
  • their predators include crabs, snakes, owls, hawks, sharks, fur seals, sea lions, cats, dogs, and rats (eoe)
  • they live on the Galapagos Islands, mainly the Fernandina and Isabel, in South America (pm)
  • they live in temperate climates in which the climate is between 15 and 28 degrees Celsius (59-82 degrees Fahrenheit) (ewa and wiki)
  • their location is a rocky and sandy terrain (eoe)
  • they live in nests and burrows (ee)

2. Description

  • they are classified as a type of bird (book)
  • their bodies are covered by skin that is black and white (eoe)
  • their height is 40-45 centimeters and weight is 1.6-2.5 kilograms (mb)
  • their body length is 50-53 cm (km)
  • the communicate through vocal calls and verbal calls (squawks and body movements) (ewa)
  • an unusual characteristics is that they do not follow a specific annual breeding season like all other penguins do (eoe)

3. Adaptation

  • they go in the water to cool off from the heat (wiki)
  • Also, they can lose heat from skin on their feet and underparts of their flippers (wiki)
  • they protect their feet from the sun by hunching over (wiki)
  • their calling sounds are squawks and braying sounds (like a donkey) (ewa)
  • their behavior includes them turning to the lighter side, away from the sun, panting, hopping into water, and hunching over their feet (eoe)
  • their flippers are good from swimming and losing heat (wiki)
  • they usually hunt in small groups, occasionally large (eoe)

4. Reasons for Endangerment

  • the El Nino weather patterns cause food shortages and provide the ocean with poor water nutrients which harm the fish they eat (km)
  • also oil spills harm them through the water (km)
  • some penguins get caught in fishing nets and are hurt, some even die (km and ee)
  • many are killed by predators and natural hazards (ee)

5. Critical Information

  • make sure no one is fishing around penguin grounds (it's illegal anyways!)
  • stop oil spills in the ocean, not only harming penguins but many other marine creatures
  • El Nino, predators, and natural hazards are the only uncontrollable problems but other man made problems, we can help stop
  • donate to funds to save them from endangerment, such as GCT (Galapagos Conservation Trust) (eoe)