Scientific name: Eudyptes chrysocome
Size: About 21 inches tall, or less than 2 feet
Location: Rockhoppers live on various islands around the sub Antarctic
What Do They Eat? These guys eat fish, squid and krill
Main enemies: Leopard and fur seals and predatory birds
Photo by Swamibu
Don’t you ever wonder who names animals? The person who named this breed of penguin must have spent some time watching them hop from rock to rock to come up with that name. These penguins are also called “Rockies” but they aren’t as large as either the mountain range or the famous movie boxer.
Photo by Swamibu
Other than their funny name, Rockhoppers have a couple of other funny things about them. For one, they are a crested breed of penguin, which means they have a tuft of yellow feathers on the corners of their eyes, which makes them look like badly groomed college professors. Actually, when they’re interested in attracting a penguin of the opposite sex, they wiggle their heads back and forth. This makes the yellow feathers fly around their heads and attracts attention. When was the last time you tried that?
Did you know that Rockhopper penguins have completely red eyes? And you thought Dracula was scary! They also have shot necks and are the typical black and white, though these guys have a tuft of black ruffled feathers on the top of their heads that look kind of like you do when you have a bad hair day.
Rockhopper penguins live in rather small groups, but they’re really noisy. As a matter of fact, they are considered to be one of the loudest groups of all penguin species. Not only are they noisy, but also they are very active and make all kinds of gestures to get attention, such as wiggling their heads, waving their flippers and bowing. They are quite funny to watch because they are so animated.
Rockhoppers get around by, you’re right – hopping! They hop from rock to rock to get around the rocky shores of their home turf. They use their powerful flippers and webbed feet to help them not only hop in and out of the water and from rock to rock, but also to swim after prey in the cool ocean water.