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The Adelie Penguin

The Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is, together with the Emperor Penguin, one of the only two types of penguin living on the Antarctic mainland. It is named after French explorer Dumont d'Urville's wife, Adelie. At the coasts of the mainland and some nearby islands it forms large colonies. There is a colony on Ross Island of approximately half a million Adelie Penguins. This species is common along the entire Antarctic coast.

Physical Characteristics of The Adelie Penguin
This rather small penguin is 60 to 70 cm long and 5 kg 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 bit longer than other penguins' tails.

Adelie Penguin Breeding
Adelie Penguins arrive at their breeding grounds in October. Their nests consist of stones piled together. The males summon the females with a low gutteral noise followed by a loud cry. It is now December, the warmest month in Antarctica (about -2°C). The parents alternate in periods of incubating the egg; one goes to feed and the other stays to warm the egg. The parent who is incubating the egg does not eat. Usually the adelie penguin lays two eggs which are either brown or green in color. In March the adults and their young return to the sea.

This penguin feeds mainly on crustaceans, such as krill, and fish.

Scientific Classification of Adelie Penguins

> Kingdom: Animalia
> Phylum: Chordata
> Class: Aves
> Order: Sphenisciformes
> Family: Spheniscidae
> Genus: Pygoscelis
> Species: P. adeliae

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