Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Adélie Penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae, is a species of penguin common along the entire Antarctic coast. They are among the most southerly distributed of all seabirds, along with the Emperor Penguin, South Polar Skua, Wilson's Storm Petrel, Snow Petrel, and Antarctic Petrel. In 1840, French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville named them for his wife, Adélie
The Adélie Penguin is one of three species in the genus Pygoscelis. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence suggests the genus split from other penguins around 38 million years ago, about 2 million years after the ancestors of the genus Aptenodytes. In turn, the Adélie penguins split off from the other members of the genus around 19 million years ago.
There are 38 colonies of Adélie penguins, and there are over 5 million Adélies in the Ross Sea region. Ross Island supports a colony of approximately half a million Adélies. The Adélie penguins breed from October to February on shores around the Antarctic continent. Adelies build rough nests of stones. Two eggs are laid, these are incubated for 32 to 34 days by the parents taking turns (shifts typically last for 12 days). The chicks remain in the nest for 22 days before joining creches. The chicks moult into their juvenile plumage and go out to sea after 50 to 60 days.

[edit] Description
These penguins are mid-sized, being 46 to 75 cm (18 to 30 in) in length and 3.9 to 5.8 kg (8.6 to 12.8 lbs) in weight. Distinctive marks are the white ring surrounding the eye and the feathers at the base of the bill. These long feathers hide most of the red bill. The tail is a little longer than other penguins' tails. They are smaller than other penguin species.

Adelie penguins can swim up to 45 miles per hour.

Adelie penguins are preyed on by skua.

Distribution and habitat

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