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Rockhopper Penguin
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The Rockhopper penguin, Eudyptes chrysocome, is a small, aggressive, crested penguin. These penguins are called "rockhoppers" because they jump from rock to rock. Although these flightless birds used to be hunted for their oil, they are now protected. They have a life span of over 10 years.

Feathers: Penguins have shiny, waterproof feathers that help keep their skin dry. Each year, penguins molt, losing their old feathers and growing new ones.

Anatomy: Rockhopper Penguins are up to 22 inches (55 cm) tall and weigh about 6 pounds (3 kg). They have a droopy, feathery crest (black and yellow), a bright orange-red bill, and bright red eyes. Males and females are very similar in appearance. Like all penguins, they have a big head, a short, thick neck, a streamlined shape, a short, wedge-shaped tail, and tiny, flipper-like wings. Their webbed feet are used for swimming. Penguins are countershaded; they have a lighter color on the belly and a darker color on their back; this coloration helps camouflage them when they are in the water, hiding them from predators.

Habitat: All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere (south of the equator). Rockhopper penguins live on sub-Antarctic islands .

Diet: Rockhopper penguins are carnivores (meat-eaters) that catch their prey in the ocean. Their diet consists mostly of crustaceans and small fish.

Predators: Rockhopper penguins are eaten by blue sharks, leopard seals and fur seals. Eggs and chicks are eaten by many birds, including skuas, petrels, and Dominican gulls.

Reproduction: Rockhoppers breed from October to April (the warmest time in the Southern Hemisphere). They nest in large colonies in rocky coastal areas. The female usually lays two eggs, but only one is incubated. Both parents care for the chick.



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