Saturday, August 20th, 2011

The one, rare species of penguin that lives on the Galapagos Islands is fittingly called the Galapagos Penguin. It’s the only penguin that’s indigenous to the Northern Hemisphere. Most live on the coasts of Fernandina and Isabel Islands. They live in raucous colonies near the shore, and dive off the coastal waters to catch fish and shellfish.

The Galapagos Penguin is about 19 inches high and weighs about five and half pounds, with males being a little bigger than the females.Additional information can be found at Like most penguins, they have the familiar black back and white front, though there are white markings on the head, and a black band around the neck. Galapagos Penguins can live about 20 years, but few live that long in the wild.

Like lots of penguins, the Galapagos Penguin has an intricate courtship ritual that might look amusing to the human onlooker, and like other penguins they mate for life. Female Galapagos Penguins are mature when they’re about three or four years old, and the males when they’re a couple of years older. They make their nests on the ground and aren’t above stealing pebbles and twigs from their neighbors to prettify them. Both parents incubate their eggs and care for their young. Usually, the female lays two eggs with every clutch. There may be two or three clutches every year, especially if food is plentiful. It takes about three to six months before the chick is independent.

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