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Crested penguin facts for kids

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Crested penguin
Macaroni penguin,
Eudyptes chrysolophus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Sphenisciformes
Family: Spheniscidae
Genus: Eudyptes

The term crested penguin is the common name given collectively to species of penguins of the genus Eudyptes. The exact number of species in the genus varies between four and seven depending, and a Chatham Islands species may have become extinct in the 19th century.

All are black and white penguins with yellow crests, red bills and eyes, and are found on Sub-antarctic islands in the world's southern oceans. All lay two eggs, but raise only one young per breeding season; the first egg laid is substantially smaller than the second.

Taxonomy

The genus was described by the French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot in 1816; the name is derived from the Ancient Greek words eu "good", and dyptes "diver".

Evolution

Madrynornis
Madrynornis fossil

Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence suggests that the crested penguins split from the ancestors of their closest living relative, the yellow-eyed penguin, in the mid-Miocene around 15 million years ago, before splitting into separate species around 8 million years ago.

Description

The crested penguins are all similar in appearance, having sharply delineated black and white plumage with red beaks and prominent yellow crests. Their calls are more complex than those of other species, with several phrases of differing lengths. The royal penguin (mostly) has a white face, while other species have black faces.

Breeding

Crested penguins breed on Sub-antarctic islands in the southern reaches of the world's oceans; the greatest diversity occurring around New Zealand and surrounding islands. Their breeding displays and behaviours are generally more complex than other penguin species. Both male and female parents take shifts incubating eggs and young.

Species photographs

Photographs of adults of the extant (living) species are shown:

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