African Penguin Fact Sheet

Class:

Aves

Order:

Sphenisciform  

Family:

Spheniscidae

Genus:

Spheniscus
Species:

demersus

Lifespan:

Up to 20 years. Up to 20-25 years under human care

Gestation:

Eggs are incubated for 5 weeks by both parents.

Number of Young:

Usually 2-3 eggs are laid at almost any time of the year. It is not common for all offspring to survive.

Size:

45-70 cm

Weight:

2-5kg

Reproduction:

African penguins have one mate for several breeding seasons and even up to 10 years.
Range: The coast and islands of Southwestern Africa, in Namibia and South Africa.

Habitat:

Coastlines. Spend most of day in water and cool nights on land. 

Diet:

Eat mainly sardines but also squid, anchovies and other small animals. 

Description:

There are white patches ventrally and laterally on the cranium, as well as a ventral white patch on the body. There is a black horseshoe-shaped band running around their chest, and they also have a horseshoe-shaped white band that goes around the eye from the chin towards the beak.

Come visit Robben, Blue/Yellow, Blue/Green, Linus, Eon, Stevie, Norman, Bob, Mr. Bill, and Alake at Meerkat Manor.

Facts:

  • African penguins live in a much warmer environment than Antartic penguins, with mean low temperatures of 6ºC (43ºF).
  • African penguins can remain under water 14 seconds for every second that they spend taking a breath and can dive to depths of 427 feet. 

Download our African Penguin Conservation booklet