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AdeliePenguinClassificationandEvolution

TheAdeliePenguinisthesmallestandmostwidelydistributedspeciesofPenguinintheSouthern
OceanandisoneofonlytwospeciesofPenguinfoundontheAntarcticmainland(theotherbeingthe
muchlargerEmperorPenguin).TheAdeliePenguinwasnamedin1840byFrenchexplorerJules
Dumontd'UrvillewhonamedthePenguinforhiswife,Adelie.AdeliePenguinshaveadaptedwellto
lifeintheAntarcticasthesemigratoryBirdswinterinthenorthernpackicebeforereturningsouthto
theAntarcticcoastforthewarmersummermonths.
AdeliePenguinAnatomyandAppearance
TheAdeliePenguinisoneofthemosteasilyidentifiablePenguinspecieswithablueblackbackand
completelywhitechestandbelly.TheheadandbeakoftheAdeliePenguinarebothblack,witha
distinctivewhiteringaroundeacheye.Thestrong,pinkfeetoftheAdeliePenguinaretoughand
bumpywithnailsthatnotonlyaidtheAdeliePenguininclimbingtherockycliffstoreachitsnesting
grounds,butalsohelptopushthemalongwhentheyaresliding(rowing)alongtheice.Adelie
Penguinsalsousetheirwebbedfeetalongwiththeirsmallflipperstopropelthemalongwhen
swimminginthecoldwaters.
AdeliePenguinDistributionandHabitat
TheAdeliePenguinisoneofthesouthernmostBirdsintheworldasitisfoundalongtheAntarctic
coastlineandontheislandsclosetoit.Duringthewintermonths,theAdeliePenguinsmigratenorth
wheretheyinhabitlargeplatformsoficeandhavebetteraccesstofood.Duringthewarmersummer
months,theAdeliePenguinsreturnsouthwheretheyheadforthecoastalbeachesinsearchoficefree
groundontherockyslopeswheretheycanbuildtheirnests.MorethanhalfamillionAdeliePenguins
haveformedoneofthelargestanimalcoloniesintheworldonRossIsland,anislandformedbythe
activitiesoffourmonstrousvolcanoesintheRossSea.
AdeliePenguinBehaviourandLifestyle
LikeallspeciesofPenguin,theAdeliePenguinisahighlysociableanimal,gatheringinlargegroups
knownascolonies,whichoftennumberthousandsofPenguinindividuals.AlthoughAdeliePenguins
arenotknowntobeterriblyterritorial,itisnotuncommonforadultstobecomeaggressiveovernesting
sites,andhaveevenbeenknowntostealrocksfromthenestsoftheirneighbours.AdeliePenguinsare
alsoknowntohuntingroupsasitisthoughttoreducetheriskofbeingeatenbyhungrypredators.
AdeliePenguinsareconstantlyinteractingwithoneanother,withbodylanguageandspecificeye
movementsthoughttobethemostcommonformsofcommunication.
AdeliePenguinReproductionandLifeCycles
AdeliePenguinsreturntotheirbreedinggroundsduringtheAntarcticsummermonthsofNovember
andDecember.Theirsoftfeetarewelldesignedforwalkingonlandmakingthetrektoit'snesting
groundmucheasierasthePenguinfastsduringthistime.AdeliePenguinpairsmateforlifeinlarge
colonies,withfemaleslayingtwoeggsacoupleofdaysapartintoanestbuiltfromrocks.Boththe
maleandfemaletakeitinturnstoincubatetheireggswhiletheothergoesofftofeed,forupto10days
atatime.TheAdeliePenguinchickshaveaneggtoothwhichisabumponthetopoftheirbeaks,
whichhelpsthemtobreakoutoftheegg.Oncehatched,theparentsstilltakeitinturnstolookafter
theiryoungwhiletheothergoesofftogatherfood.Afteraboutamonth,thechickscongregatein
groupscalledcrchesandareabletofendforthemselvesatseawhentheyarebetween2and3months
old.
AdeliePenguinDietandPrey
AdeliePenguinsarestrongandcapableswimmers,obtainingalloftheirf