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Magellanic Penguin

Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus Magellanicus)Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus Magellanicus)Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus Magellanicus)Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus Magellanicus)Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus Magellanicus)
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Magellanic Penguin Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Spheniscus Magellanicus
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
61cm - 76cm (24in - 30in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
2.7kg - 6.5kg (5.9lbs - 14lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
35km/h (22mph)
How long the animal lives for
15 - 20 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Black, White, Brown
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Antarctic islands
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Cuttlefish, Squid, Sardines
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Sea Lion, Leopard Seal, Killer Whale
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Black beak and small wings

Magellanic Penguin Location

Map of Magellanic Penguin Locations

Magellanic Penguin

The Magellanic penguin is a small to medium sized species of penguin found inhabiting the rocky islands off the coast of parts of South America. The Magellanic penguin is most closely related to the African penguin, the Galapagos penguin and the Humboldt penguin which it is similar in appearance to. Despite being classed as a threatened species, the Magellanic penguin is one of the most numerous of all of these types of penguin.

The Magellanic penguin is found breed off the coast of Argentina and southern Chile and on the Falkland islands further south. Like other species of penguin the Magellanic penguin spends the majority of its time hunting for food in the surrounding ocean, coming onto land to nest in large colonies on the beaches.

The Magellanic penguin is a medium sized penguin that can grow up to 76cm in height. Like other penguin species, the flippers of the Magellanic penguin are not that long but act as the perfect tools for propelling the Magellanic penguin through the water when it is in search of food. Like the other penguins in their group, Magellanic penguins have white and brownish black markings, with a broad dark band running across the top of their white chest.

Like other penguin species, the Magellanic penguin is a highly sociable bird, living in flocks with numerous other Magellanic penguin individuals. As well as gathering together in large colonies on the beaches during the breeding season, the Magellanic penguin flocks also spend their time out at sea hunting together rather than on their own.

The Magellanic penguin is a carnivorous predator and its diet is solely comprised of marine-dwelling animals. The Magellanic penguin primarily hunts cuttlefish and squid in the surrounding waters along with numerous species of fish (including sardines), and krill. Like other penguin species, the Magellanic penguin can dive quite deep for a few minutes at a time in order to catch their prey.

The relatively small size of the Magellanic penguin means that it is preyed upon by a number of hungry marine carnivores. Leopard seals and large fur seals are the primary predators of the Magellanic penguin along with sharks and killer whales. Due to the fact that they nest on quite inhospitable land though, the Magellanic penguin has no natural predators on their breeding beaches.

Magellanic penguins nest together on beaches on the rocky islands in their natural range. The female Magellanic penguin lays two eggs in a nest on the beach which are incubated by both parents for up to 40 days. Once hatched, the chicks are cared for by their parents until they are about a month old and are able to fend for themselves.

Today, although quite numerous in some parts, the Magellanic penguin is considered to be a threatened species primarily due to changes in their natural habitats. Oil spills are thought to be the biggest threat to the Magellanic penguin and their native breeding sites across south-east Pacific.

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First Published: 9th August 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

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