Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chinstrap Penguin


Chinstrap Penguin | The Chinstrap penguin is a kind of penguin which is found in the South Sandwich Islands, Antarctica, the South Orkneys, South Shetland, South Georgia, Bouvet Island and Balleny. Chinstrap penguin usually breeds on hill slopes and rocky areas in colonies, sometimes huge. Their name is derived from the narrow black band under their heads, making it seem like they are wearing black helmets, making them one of the most easily recognized species of penguins. Other names for them are "Ringed penguins," "Bearded penguins", and "Stone cracker penguins" because of their hard call. 

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Aves
Order:     Sphenisciformes
Family:     Spheniscidae
Genus:     Pygoscelis
Species:     P. antarcticus

Chinstrap penguins are medium-sized penguins, easily recognized by their white faces and the thin black line on the cheeks. The demarcation between black and white is above the eye, isolating the dark eyes in the white plumage. The bill is black. Unlike most other penguins, Chinstraps young closely resemble their parents. Until their first molt, young people can be recognized by dark patches around the eyes and a slightly shorter bill.

The Chinstrap penguin is able to swim in the freezing cold waters to resist because of the tightly packed feathers, which provide a waterproof jacket. Thick blubber deposits provide good insulation, and blood vessels in the flippers and legs have evolved elaborate structures to retain heat. The Chinstrap penguin black and white plumage helps camouflage against predators in the water, such as seals. When viewed from above, the bird is black again fits into the dark water below, while the bird is in the sun above bottom when seen from below.


Although Chinstrap penguins foraging at sea during the day and night diving effort is concentrated near midnight and noon. Chinstrap penguinss feed mainly on krill and fish are considered near-shore feeders, feeding near their breeding colonies. They capture prey by pursuit diving using their flippers to "fly" through the water. Chinstrap penguins on land often slide - lay on their stomachs, propelling themselves by their feet and using their flippers. They climb using all four limbs and are able to jump long distances to reach points of support.


Chinstrap penguins may be the most common penguin, with a population estimated at 7.5 million breeding pairs. Most dives last between 20-30 seconds. The main predator of Chinstrap penguins are leopard seals. Eggs and chicks can fall prey to birds such as sheathbills and the brown hunter. Chinstrap penguins are considered the most aggressive penguins.

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