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Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus)
23-NOV-2012 Dick Keely

Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus)

Bartolome Island, Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is a penguin endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is the only penguin that lives north of the equator in the wild. It can survive due to the cool temperatures resulting from the Humboldt Current and cool waters from great depths brought up by the Cromwell Current. The Galapagos Penguin is one of the banded penguins, the other species of which live mostly on the coasts of mainland South America, and Africa. The average Galapagos Penguin is 49 centimetres (19 in) long and 2.5 kilograms (5.5 lb) in weight. It is the third smallest species of penguin. They have a black head with a white border running from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, to join on the throat. They have blackish-grey upperparts and whitish underparts, with two black bands across the breast, the lower band extending down the flanks to the thigh. Juveniles differ in having a wholly dark head, greyer on side and chin, and no breast-band. The female penguins are smaller than the males, but are otherwise quite similar. While ninety percent of the Galapagos Penguins live among the western islands of Fernandina and Isabela, they also occur on Santiago, Bartolome, northern Santa Cruz, and Floreana. The northern tip of Isabela crosses the equator, meaning that Galápagos Penguins occasionally visit the northern hemisphere, the only penguins to do so. Reference: Wikipedia


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