The Galapagos penguins are know for their small size and their love of warm waters. Because of this, they tend to stick close to their island home of the Galapagos, where they spend much of their time playing in tropical waters.
Penguin name: Galapagos penguin
Scientific name: Spheniscus mendiculus
Size: These guys grow to about 19 inches tall and weigh about 6 pounds
Location: They tend to stay close to the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador
What Do They Eat? Galapagos penguins love to eat sardines, squid and mullet
Main enemies: Sharks, seals, hawks and rats
photo by Kristin Maling
The Galapagos penguins are know as warm-water penguins. That means that they like to stay in warmer waters than their Antarctic cousins. They are also the smallest of their type of penguin. The Galapagos penguins have a narrow white stripe that runs from the outside of their eyes into a half downward facing ring around their necks.
Did you know that the bill, or beak of a Galapagos penguin is longer and narrower than that of other penguin breeds? That makes it easier for them to find food in the rocky terrain of the Galapagos Islands. When young, their feathers shine blue-black, but as they age, their feathers turn a brown color. Too bad they don’t use dye to look younger!
Galapagos penguins spend much of their time swimming in the warm waters. When on land, they extend their flippers, like wings, to keep them cool. Not only that, but their flippers give their feet some shade so they don’t get sunburned!
These penguins like to make their nests in caves or in cracks found in the rocks that cover the islands. Like many other penguin species, penguins keep the same mate for life. Usually, the mother will lay two eggs at a time. About six weeks later, the eggs hatch. Both parents take care of the chicks and one keeps guard over the chick 24 hours a day until the baby is about a month old. At two months old, the chicks have learned to feed and take care of themselves.