Meet the Magellanic Penguin

December 14, 2015

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Photo Credit: ©Graham Harris/WCS

Check out 5 fascinating facts.

Magellanic penguins are noisy and charismatic, known to bray like donkeys. They're currently in the midst of their breeding season, when they gather along the southern coast of South America in large colonies, which can number in the hundreds of thousands. What else makes them interesting?

1. Move Over Magellan

Magellanic penguins have been known to migrate over 4,000 miles on the open ocean.

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Photo Credit: ©Graham Harris/WCS

2. Thank You Magellan

They are named for the explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who spotted the birds in the early 1500s.

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Photo Credit: ©Graham Harris/WCS

3. Romeo, Oh Romeo

They are monogamous, returning to the same partner annually. One pair is known to have stayed together for 16 years.

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Photo Credit: ©Graham Harris/WCS

4. Both Parents Do Their Part

Both male and female penguins care for their young, taking turns incubating the eggs and feeding their chicks.

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Photo Credit: ©Graham Harris/WCS

5. They can move

Magellanic penguins swim at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour when pursuing prey and they can dive more than 250 feet underwater.

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Photo Credit: ©Graham Harris/WCS

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