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Royal Penguin

Royal Penguin (Eudyptes Schlegeli)Royal Penguin (Eudyptes Schlegeli)Royal Penguin (Eudyptes Schlegeli)Royal Penguin (Eudyptes Schlegeli)Royal Penguin (Eudyptes Schlegeli)
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Royal 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
Eudyptes Schlegeli
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
60cm - 68cm (24in - 27in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
3kg - 6kg (6.6lbs - 13lbs)
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
Black, White, Grey, Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Rocky Antarctic Islands
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Krill, Fish, Shrimp
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Leopard Seal, Killer Whale, Sharks
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Orange beak with yellow feathers on head

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Royal Penguin Location

Map of Royal Penguin Locations

Royal Penguin

The royal penguin is a medium to large sized species of penguin that is found inhabiting the freezing waters that surround the Antarctic continent. The royal penguin is best known for the yellow feathers that grow from its forehead to the back of its head and are not to be confused with the macaroni penguin which they are closely related to.

Like other penguin species, the royal penguin spends the majority of its life hunting out at sea and are usually found in the nutrient-rich waters that surround Antarctica. However, royal penguins are known to only breed on Macquarie Island, a rocky south-western Pacific island that lies roughly halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica.

Until recently, the royal penguin and the macaroni penguin where thought to be the same species but there are a number of distinct differences between the two. Royal penguins have white chins and faces, where the face of the macaroni penguin is black. Royal penguins also breed exclusively on Macquarie Island, a place inhabited by no other penguin species.

All penguins are fantastic swimmers and the royal penguin is no exception. Royal penguins use their powerful flippers and streamlined bodies, aided by their webbed feet to soar through the water and are able to reach speeds of nearly 20mph. Royal penguins also dive to depths of up to 150m in order to catch food, with dives usually lasting for a few minutes.

The royal penguin is a carnivorous animal, that like all other penguin species, survives on a diet that is only comprised of marine animals. Krill and small crustaceans make up the bulk of the royal penguin's diet along with larger organisms including squid and various species of fish. Royal penguins can be at sea for days at a time whilst hunting.

The royal penguin has no natural land-based predators due to the fact that royal penguins inhabit pretty harsh environments. Large leopard seals hunt the royal penguin in the water along with large sharks and killer whales. Royal penguin population have also been seriously affected by human hunting for the oil found in their feathers.

Royal penguins nest on beaches or on bare areas on slopes covered with vegetation along the island's coast. Royal penguins are colonial birds, nesting in scrapes on the ground up to a mile inland (these sites are known as rookeries). The female royal penguin lays two eggs which are incubated for 35 days. The chicks leave the nest after a couple of months returning when they are 5 to 6 years old to begin breeding themselves.

Today, the royal penguin has been listed as a vulnerable species as populations were seriously affected by overhunting at the beginning of the 20th century. This species is now protected so can no longer be poached for its oil.

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First Published: 3rd August 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

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2. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 03 Aug 2010]
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4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 03 Aug 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 03 Aug 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 03 Aug 2010]