Macaroni penguins form large, tightly packed colonies on flat or rough sloping ground. If an intruder gets too close to their patch they can be agressive and the two penguins will peck at each other. The victor of the fight will push its opponent away through the surrounding pairs of nesting penguins.
Scientific name: Eudyptes chrysolophus
The Macaroni penguin can be found in a number of locations including: Antarctica. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.
The following habitats are found across the Macaroni penguin distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Decreasing
Year assessed: 2008
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus) is a species of penguin found from the Subantarctic to the Antarctic Peninsula. One of six species of crested penguin, it is very closely related to the Royal Penguin, and some authorities consider the two to be a single species. It bears a distinctive yellow crest, and the face and upperparts are black and sharply delineated from the white underparts. Adults weigh on average 5.5 kg (12 lb) and are 70 cm (28 in) in length. The male and female are similar in appearance although the male is slightly larger and stronger with a relatively larger bill. Like all penguins, it is flightless, with a streamlined body and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine lifestyle They also have red eyes.
Its diet consists of a variety of crustaceans, mainly krill, as well as small fish and cephalopods; the species consumes more marine life annually than any other species of seabird. These birds moult once a year, spending about three to four weeks ashore, before returning to the sea. Numbering up to 100,000 individuals, the breeding colonies of the Macaroni Penguin are among the largest and densest of all penguin species. After spending the summer months breeding, penguins disperse into the oceans for six months; a 2009 study found that Macaroni Penguins from Kerguelen travelled over 10,000 km (6,200 mi) in the central Indian Ocean. With about 18 million individuals, the Macaroni Penguin is the most numerous penguin species. However, widespread declines in populations have been recorded since the mid-1970s. These factors resulted in their conservation status being reclassified as vulnerable.
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