Fascinating Adelie Penguin Facts for Kids
There are a number of different penguin species, but Adelie penguins are the most common type. The likely image in your head of a penguin is probably that of an Adelie penguin. There most common physical characteristics are black wings, white bellies and beaks that have black right at the tip. You will find Adelie penguins primarily in the Antarctic Peninsula near the islands in the region. A recent population estimate was taken in 2011 indicating that were around 2.5 million pairs of Adelie penguins.
What Size and Lifespan Do They Have?
Adelie penguins got their name from the French explorer Admiral Durmont d’Urville. They might be the smallest type of penguin living in Antarctica, but they are still about 30 inches in height and weigh nearly 11 pounds. When chick penguins are hatched they grow quickly and reach the same size as their parents within just a matter of weeks. The average lifespan of an Adelie penguin is decently long and lasts about 20 years.
Feeding Patterns of Adelie Penguins
Adelie penguins enjoy feeding on fish, squid and other tine creatures living in aquatic waters. They usually hunt for their food in the water, but like to stay about 250 feet deep. However, they can dive more than 500 feet deep to catch their prey. They are able to hunt their food so easily due to their excellent swimming skills. It is not unusual for an Adelie penguin to travel over 185 miles to just get a meal.
The nesting patterns of Adelie penguins are a bit unique. During the October breeding season of each year, these penguins move from the sea ice to the coastline. Here they form their own colonies and breed or raise their chicks. Each colony of penguins is made up of more than thousands. The nests that they build for their chicks are made using rocks and each couple builds their own. It is during November when female Adelie penguins normally lay two eggs. Not only do female penguins sit on the eggs, but male penguins do as well. They alternate sitting on the eggs for about 35 days.
Once the chick finally hatches they stay near the parents for about 3 weeks. It is when parents go in search of food that the chicks form their own packs known as creches. They reach full grown size in about 3 to 4 weeks.