Macaroni Penguin

Nothing to do with pasta


Kingdom: Animilia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Sphenisciformes

Family: Spheniscidae

Genus: Eudyptes

Species: Chrysolophus

Scientific Name: Eudyptes chrysolophus

Closest Relative: Royal Penguin

Key Information

  • The macaroni penguin is the most numerous species of penguin on the planet as there approximately 18 million macaroni penguin individuals.
  • Macaroni penguins are one the biggest and heaviest species of penguin as adult macaroni penguins generally average about 70cm in height and weigh 5 to 6 kg.

Where they live: Antarctica - rocky, water-bound areas, and cliffs above the ocean

What they eat: fish (krill and squid) and aquatic crustaceans

Interesting fact: Their eyes, like the many sea animals, are attuned to the colors of the sea. This excellent vision is needed to avoid predation by leopard seals and killer whales, which are their primary predators in the ocean. They have webbed feet to swim very well and can remain under water for long periods of time, that helps them defend against predators.

Social Interactions and Reproduction


The penguin communicates by complex ritual behaviors such as head and flipper waving, calling, and bowing.


Mating rituals include when a male pumps his chest several times with his head stretched upwards and with flippers stretched outwards, projects a loud sound. The female responds and many males do this in a big group.


Macaroni penguins breed once every year with an average of laying 2 eggs per season. The eggs usually hatch after 30 days and the babies are on their own after 60 days.

Endangered Status

Luckily, the macaroni penguin is not in danger of being extinct. In fact, there are more of them than any other penguin species. Nothing needs to be done to protect them. Some people hunt them, but it is not a big problem compared to other endangered animals