Itchy and scratchy
|Copyright: Lesley Hodgson (ma-at)
|Date Taken: 2006-10|
|Camera: Nikon f90|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2006-10-28 9:03|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
Spheniscus is a diminutive of the Greek word spen, meaning a wedge, which refers to their streamlined swimming shape, while demersus is a Latin word meaning plunging.
African Penguins are black above and white below, with a black chin and face patch separated from the crown by a broad white band. They have a narrow black band across the chest and down the flanks towards its legs.
The African Penguin is the only penguin species that breeds in Africa, and it is found nowhere else. Its distribution coincides roughly with the cold, nutrient rich, Benguela Current. The distribution of African Penguins is further determined by the availability of offshore islands as breeding sites.
The moult cycle of African Penguins is generally more synchronous than the breeding cycle. In South Africa most penguins moult from November to January, while in Namibia most moult in April and May.
The entire moult takes about 20 days to complete, with the feather-shedding period comprising just less than 13 days of this period. Prior to the moult the penguins spend about five weeks laying down fat deposits, but lose almost half their body weight during the moult process. At the end of the moult the penguins return to sea and spend about six weeks fattening up again.
African Penguins feed primarily on shoaling pelagic fish such as anchovies, pilchards (sardines), horse mackerel and round herrings, supplemented by squid and crustaceans. There are regional differences in diet, and in some regions major changes in diet have followed human exploitation of their prey. When on the hunt for prey, African Penguins can reach a top speed of close to 20 km/h.
The distance that African penguins have to travel to find food varies, both temporally and spatially. On the west coast a typical foraging trip could range from 30 to 70 km. for a single trip. On the south coast, foraging birds cover an average of 110 km. per trip. When penguins are feeding their young, the distance they can travel from the breeding colony is more limited. An average dive of an African Penguin lasts about two and a half minutes, and is regularly about 30m in depth, although dive depths of up to 130m have been recorded.
Penguins are adapted primarily to cool aquatic environments, and the need to reduce heat loss is of major importance to all penguins. However some species, including the African Penguin, have been able to successfully exploit warm terrestrial environments.
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- [2006-10-28 12:28]
As long you were absent. Hi and welcome again.
Very nice picture and pretty captured scene. Perfect details of the animals, lighting, exposure and composition. My best regards and TFS.
a pretty pair well spotted and captured