Gentoo Penguin

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Appearance and Diet

The gentoo penguin is the world's third largest penguin. It is about 30 inches tall and weighs 12 pounds(ARKive). They have red-orange beaks, peach colored feet, and the signature white bonnet on its head(ARKive). These penguins eat mainly krill, fish, squid, and other crustaceans(N.G.). Many animals, such as sea lions, leopard seals, ocras, and egg-collecting humans are predators of the gentoo penguin(ARKive). They are carnivorous, meaning they only eat meat(A-Z).

Habitat and Adaptations

Gentoo penguins live on and around the Antarctic peninsula, including the rest of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Staten Island(ARKive). The penguins find most of their food in the ocean near the coastline(N.G.). Gentoo penguins prefer to build thier nests on rocky, but flat ground with vegetation(N.G.). However, they will accept ice-free valleys and cliffs. They have streamlined bodies with flipper that can propel them at up to 22 mph, can hold their breath for 7 minutes, and dive 655 feet below the sea(N.E.A.Q.). They have heavy, solid bones to help them dive deeper, and their webbed feet steer them(N.E.A.Q.). They have lots of feathers to stay warm, as well as a thick layer of blubber(N.E.A.Q.).Their black and white markings camoflauge them to make them harder to see by predators(N.E.A.Q.).

Endangerment

Gentoo penguins have a "near threatened" status with the IUCN Red List, but not much is being done to protect them(ARKive). Their numbers are rising slowly on the Antarctic peninsula, but are dropping sharply on the offshore islands(N.G.). The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 protects these penguins(N.G.). Suggested conservations acts include: preventing offshore oil drilling, long term monitoring, and not disturbing them in general(N.G.).