Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
The genus Spheniscus (scientific name: Spheniscus - "little wedge", alluding to the shape of the flippers) consists of four species of so-called 'banded penguins' within the Spheniscidae:
- Black-footed penguin (also known as African penguin and Jackass penguin) (Spheniscus demersus)
- Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)
- Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)
- Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus)
Like all penguins, banded penguins are characterized by their erect posture, stiff wings, excellent swimming ability, awkward movement on land, and coloration.The black back and white front make penguins difficult to see when swimming, helping them to blend in with the sea from above and the sky from below.
Banded penguins are distinctive by way of :
- a black-and-white head pattern with exposed facial (loral) skin
- a black horseshoe mark on their underside
The genus contains the most northerly of the penguins - the Galapagos Penguin, which lives close to the Equator
While Banded penguins are the most northerly of the penguins, they are associated with cold, nutrient-rich currents.
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- Spheniscus Penguinworld.com (accessed March 29, 2009)