Non-Antarctic Penguins

It is a fact of common knowledge that penguins are usually associated with Antarctica continent with severe cold and windy climate and endless snow drifts. It turns out that there are other species of Penguins, the location of which is rather far from Southern Pole and in dozen kilometers from equator – Galapagos Penguin species, for instance. Nearly 1000 pairs of them share the territory of two main islands: Fernandina and Isabella. No one knows for sure how they have got there, but most likely there was once a large iceberg from Antarctica reached the Galapagos by the Humboldt Current.

But is new habitat perfect for penguins? It is clear as day that conditions of their existence are very distinctive from those of originals. The characteristic feature is temperature, which varies from 15 up to 28°C. So, in order to survive Galapagos Penguins are waiting for cool temperatures resulting from the Humboldt Current and cool waters from great depths brought up by the Cromwell Current. Due to the high temperatures, which dominate on the islands, the Galapagos Penguins face an overheating, which represents for them a serious threat. But it is not for nothing that these birds are most similar to humans, they like are as intelligent as humans and have found a way out of difficult living conditions. In the afternoon, when the temperature reaches its highest point, they stay in water, producing their own food, and at night, when the temperature drops, penguins go to the beach. Because of the severe climatic conditions, population of Galapagos penguin is decreasing every year. Today, these animals are included in the international Red Book. By the way, on Galapagos islands there is a bigger number of dangers, which may threat penguins’ existence, which include crabs, snakes, birds of prey, cats, dogs, rats, sharks, seals and sea lions, who might be considered as predators out there.

In addition to Galapagos Penguins, there are other colonies distributed outside Antarctica. Therefore, one might learn about their presence on the coast of the South Africa, where they are also known as Black-Footed Penguins, Jackass Penguins or Cape Penguin. Humboldt Penguins (Peruvian Penguins, Patrancas) are found around the coast of Chile and Peru, where they form own colonies only in period of breed and most of the time they spend in marine water. Magellanic Penguins (named after their explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who was the first one to see them in 1519) are found around the coastline of Chile, Argentina and the Falkland Islands.

As strange as it may seem, this geographic distribution does challenge the common stereotype about penguins’ location, doesn’t it?