18th February 2020: Penguin Top Trumps

by Ellie Pryor

Species Name: Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus)

Life span: 15-20 years

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Diet: Krill, small fish and Cephalopods, I consume more sea life than any other species!

Top Trumps Rating

Courage: 4 – I have to compete with predators like Leopard seals, Antarctic fur seals and Orcas, however many of my predators steal my eggs and chicks if I leave them unattended.

Speed: 5 – My species can reach speeds of 7mph underwater, although the fastest species of Penguin (the gentoo) can reach 22 mph!

Strength: 4 – I try to avoid conflict with species through agnostic displays with the intention to ward off individuals.

Agility: 8 – Speedy manoeuvring to avoid predation.

Coolness: 10 - Who wouldn’t want my funky eyebrows?!

I am very closely related to the Royal Penguin; the only difference is my black face which in my opinion contrasts my yellow eyebrows better. I live in sub Antarctic waters and interestingly, I hate salt! As soon as I return to land, I shake my head continuously to remove all the salt from my feathers so that I look smooth and impress the ladies! I have a streamline body and wings which I use as flippers as I cannot fly! I moult once a year, this means I get to spend a whole month on land which is great news as I do not want to risk catching a cold in the freezing waters off Antarctica!

We are a pretty social species, with events for our colony always taking place. We usually get involved with activities like foraging, bill-jousting and wrestling! We make up the biggest and most densely populated colony amongst all the penguin species, so have a lot of characters to entertain.