African Penguin Facts for Kids – Fun Facts & Information

You might want to learn about the African penguin fun facts. The African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is the only penguin that lives in the south-west waters of Africa. It has a unique donkey-like call which is why the penguin is also called jackass penguin. Black-footed penguin is the other name of African penguins.

African Penguin Fun Facts

African penguins are the close relatives of South American penguins but both cousins live far apart.

Size and Weight: Adults weigh 4.9–7.7 pounds measure 60–70 cm in length. African penguins have black spots on their chest but they are unique in every individual. No two penguins have same spots.

Diet: The African penguin eats fish that is found in shallow waters including pilchards, anchovies, small crustaceans, and squid. They will eat as much as 540 grams of food each day.

Distribution: African penguins breed in the african penguin factswaters of Namibia, Port Elizabeth, Algoa Bay, and South Africa.

The black-and-white physical appearance camouflages the penguin against any potential predator.

Reproduction: In South Africa, the female lays eggs in March and May while in Namibia the breeding season begins late in November and December. The female lays 2 eggs.

African penguin’s chicks will leave their nest after 60 – 130 days. If the food is available in large quantity then they can probably fledge out earlier. They will dig burrows or holes in sand to lay eggs.

Lifespan: African penguins can live 10 to 27 years in the natural habitat but the captive penguin has a lifespan of 30 years.

Predators: They have many potential predators in Africa. Predators include mongooses, caracals, kelp gull, Cape fur seals, genets, and sometimes killer whales.

Population: The current population of an African penguin is 55,000 with most of them living in South Africa. Human development and oil spills appear to be the potential threats to the African penguin’s population.

African Penguin Facts for Kids – Video

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