Adélie penguin facts for kids

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Adélie penguin
An Adélie penguin
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Sphenisciformes
Family: Spheniscidae
Genus: Pygoscelis
Species: P. adeliae
Binomial name
Pygoscelis adeliae
(Hombron and Jacquinot, 1841)
Manchot Adélie MHNT
Pygoscelis adeliae

The Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is a penguin that is all black except for a white chest and belly, and a white ring around their eyes. There are about 2.5 million Adélie penguins in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. Adélie penguins travel the furthest to breed because they build their nests from stones and need to find stones. Adélies come ashore to breed in the summer. In the winter, they live on ice that floats off the Antarctic shore.

Chicks and eggs

Adélie parents take turns keeping their chicks warm and fed. While one watches the nest, the other goes into the ocean to catch krill. The penguins carry the krill back to the nest in their stomachs. Then they regurgitate it to feed their chicks.

Most Adélie penguins incubate two eggs at a time. The little chicks hatch out at about the same time. One is usually stronger than the other and has a better chance of surviving.

When first born, the chicks are kept warm by their parents. But after two or three weeks, they grow a thick, woolly gray down. Then they join other chicks in creches, or nursery groups.


Adélie penguins are the smallest penguins in Antarctica. They weigh only about 8.5 pounds (the weight of a house cat). They are about 28 inches tall.

Images for kids

Adélie penguin Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.