Critter Science

The Science of Animals

fairy penguin

It’s the Fairy Penguin

The little blue penguin, aka the fairy penguin, is the smallest species of penguin in the world. Fairy penguins live in the cold southern seas of Australia and New Zealand. These faithful little penguins are also monogamous (mate for life). However, there have been cases where the couple will split up. But it’s not normal for this to happen. They also typically tolerate human company, like tourists and care givers at zoos.

First the Stats…

Scientific name: Eudyptula minor
Weight: 3.3 lbs.
Height: Up to 13 inches
Lifespan: 6 years

Now on to the Facts!

1.) They dive up to 235 feet to catch fish and, like most penguins, they swallow their food whole. Little piglets!

2.) Their main foods of choice are anchovies, plankton, squid, krill, pilchards, and small octopus. They also eat sea floor crustaceans and sea horses.

3.) Both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs. They also both assist in rearing the young.

4.) In New Zealand these cute critters are called Little Blue Penguins or just Blue Penguins due to their plumage color. the New Zealand Maori call them Korora.

5.) The main predators of these penguins are sharks, fur seals, leopard seals, sea lions, orcas. Land based predators include eagles and large gulls. Man-made hazards include plastic, oil spills, vehicles, gill net fishing, and loss of breeding habitats due to building and agriculture.

But wait, there’s more on the fairy penguin!

6.) A group of penguins is called a raft.

7.) Fairy penguins dig burrows or make nests in between rocks to lay their 2 eggs.

Did you know…?
They can only swim 2.5 knots per hour (1.6 mph).

8.) Little penguins may have 1 – 3 broods (clutches) in a season.

Now a Short Fairy Penguin Video!

Learn more about all kinds of cool critters here.

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Critter Man

With over 41 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge.I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all kinds of critters. Whether they're on land, sea, or air.I will never say that I know everything about all animals. That's impossible, even for a savant. But, that being said, ask me any animal question and I'll answer it. If I don't know the answer, I'll get an answer for you!Let it be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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