Adelie Penguins Surfing

Adélie Penguins above sea ice in Antarctica

 

Adélie Penguins are a species of penguins living along the Antartic coast and also populating the nearby islands. If you will ever be lucky enough to go towards the extreme South and encounter a cute genuine Adélie Penguin, here are 10 interesting things you should know about its “race’:

  • The Adélie Penguin is the smallest species of penguins to be found in the Antarctic, measuring about 70 cm. It is also the most studied penguin species of the 17 known on Earth;
  • They are located further south than any other penguins;

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  • the Adélie Penguin got its name from the French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville who named an entire island Adélie, after his wife; it was on this island that the species was first discovered;
  • even though they may look funny and sluggish on ground, when at sea, they transform into torpido-like swimmers, diving after their pray at depths of almost 170 meters. No other species of penguins can dive this deep;
  • they can dive with a speed of 2meters/second;
  • an Adélie Penguin can leave to be 20 human years old;
  • 2,5 million pairs are known to breed in the Antarctic region (of which 1 million live around the coasts of the Ross Sea);
  • they lay one or two eggs, each weighing 100g to125g  which are then incubated alternatively by each parent for a period of 30- 40 days. This is a shorter incubation period than normal and it is due to the short Antarctic summer;
  • for these tiny creatures, global warming is not yet dangerous, as it melts some of the sea ice, allowing them easier access to their pray and creating small bits of ice floating on the surface for resting between dives;
  • and last, the small and funny penguins in the animated movie Madagascar (Rico and the gang) are believed to be Adélie penguins.

Adelie Penguins iceberg

Anarctica Adelie Penguins

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ice cased Adelie penguins

Ice cased Adelie penguins after a blizzard at Cape Denison / photograph by Frank Hurley