Everything you ever wanted to know about Gentoo Penguins

Gentoo Penguins

  • Gentoo penguins can grow to around 90cm high, and are the third largest of the 17 species of penguin, after the Emperor Penguin and King Penguin.
  • Gentoos are easily recognised by the wide white stripe across the top of its head and long stiff tail feathers.
  • They are more romantic than other penguins, and mostly stay with the same mate from the previous year.
  • Gentoos are fond of chewing on human hair.
  • Gentoos have two types of feathers, a soft downy woollen layer to keep them warm, and a waterproof layer of feathers over the top to keep them dry.
  • Gentoo Penguins live in Antartica, one of the coldest places on earth. Antartica is in the south, rather than the Artic in the north where Polar Bears live.
  • Gentoo’s mainly live on rocky coastlines so they are known for their jumping.
  • Penguin poo is called guano.
  • Gentoos are nest builders, and they build their nests out of moss, twigs and pebbles.
  • A group of penguins is called a colony.
  • Gentoos are very sociable animals and social structure is very important to them.
  • Gentoos are more fun-loving and charismatic than some species other of penguin.
  • Gentoos always lay two eggs, which will be incubated for a month.
  • When Gentoo babies are born, they will triple in size from 100g to 300g within one week!
  • Gentoo’s mainly live on rocky coastlines so they are known for their jumping.
  • Gentoos are the fastest underwater swimming penguins, they can reach speeds of up to 36kph and dive to 170metres.
  • Gentoos are a very active species of penguin, renowned for running on rocks and cliffs – they even run out people sometimes!
  • They have a very distinctive cry, often likened to a donkey bray. The noise they make is so loud it can reach over 80 decibels - the equivalent of a diesel train travelling at 45mph!
  • SEA LIFE London Aquarium's colony are the only Gentoo Penguins in England.

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