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Southern Rockhopper Penguin: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

There are so many fun southern rockhopper penguin facts to know and learn! How many do you already know?

The southern rockhopper penguin is definitely one of the most interesting penguins found around the world. Though they require extensive breeding and conservation, this has not stopped them from being the center of attention for many penguin specialists across the years. First discovered in the 1900s, these penguins are known for their fast speed as well as their tendency to mate for life. Mating rituals can last several days, and parents then raise their children in these pairs. Highly sociable animals, you will rarely see them alone. They will always be present in groups with other penguins of the same species, though they have not been known to intermingle with others from different species.

Do you wish to learn more about these wonderful creatures? Then read on, and do not forget to check out these African penguin facts and  Atlantic puffin facts too!

Southern Rockhopper Penguin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a southern rockhopper penguin?

The southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) is a type of penguin.

What class of animal does a southern rockhopper penguin belong to?

This rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) belongs to the class of Aves.

How many southern rockhopper penguins are there in the world?

The southern rockhopper penguin population is around one million pairs in the world.

Where does a southern rockhopper penguin live?

The southern rockhopper penguin lives in the polar region.

What is a southern rockhopper penguin's habitat?

Rockhopper penguins live in tussocks, which are tall grass areas where penguins dig burrows and build nests. Southern rockhopper penguins reside on rocky shores, as their title suggests.

Who does a southern rockhopper penguin live with?

Rockhopper penguins are gregarious creatures. It's unusual to see one unaccompanied. The most violent, as well as the most widespread, penguins are the rockhoppers.

How long does a southern rockhopper penguin live?

A rockhopper penguin's average lifespan is about 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Ecstatic vocalization refers to species-specific breeding accents. This attracts the bird's attention and reveals its intentions. Rockhopper penguins reproduce with the very same partners they did the year before. Rockhopper penguins' breeding period is in the early spring or occasionally up until late summer, allowing the chicks to travel to the sea in the middle of the summer season. Rockhopper penguins mate in large colonies and produce up to two eggs, however occasionally a third egg is "adopted" by a pair. In the case of southern rockhopper penguin eggs, the first egg is typically 20-50% smaller than the second.

Among the two eggs, little egg is generally lost, despite the fact that it has the potential to mature into penguins. Female rockhoppers feed male penguins when he remains on the incubating eggs or the male rockhoppers fast for the duration. If mother penguins do not arrive with food for the chicks after it has fledged, the male regurgitates "penguin milk". This is done from his digestive tract for the chicks.  The parents protect their chicks till they are around a month old.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN has designated the rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes Chrysocome) as Vulnerable.

Southern Rockhopper Penguin Fun Facts

What does a southern rockhopper penguin look like?

Long yellow eyebrows with black crested feathers, red eyes and a fiery, red-colored beak are all features of these penguins. These penguins are black and white in hue, with a black tuxedo encompassing almost all of their body with the exception of their big white stomachs. They have superciliary stripes, which are prominent stripes above their eyes. Their chicks are primarily black and grey, with black beaks that age to a bright red and orange.

These are the tiniest species of crested penguins that belong to the South Antarctic region.

How cute are they?

The slate-grey upper parts with bright yellow eyebrows that finish in long yellowish feathers that protrude sideways behind that red-eye make this bird cute.

How do they communicate?

The powerful cry of the southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome), known as 'ecstatic vocalization,' is used to proclaim their arrival, attract a partner, or demarcate their territory's boundaries. This species shake their head and allow their yellow-colored eyebrows to form the shape of a "halo" to impress a partner, in addition to vocalizing.

How big is a southern rockhopper penguin?

Southern rockhoppers measure about 18–23 in (45.72-58.42 cm) length and the approximate length of northern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes moseleyi) is 21.7 in (55.11 cm). The length of the Gentoo Penguin is around 27.55-37.40 in (69.97-94.99 cm). Southern species are slightly larger than northern penguins but smaller than gentoo penguins.

How fast can a southern rockhopper penguin run?

Although the accurate running speed data of this penguin species is not available, underwater rockhoppers mostly swim at a speed of roughly 4.3 mph (7 kph) in the sea. While in a single jump, rockhoppers may travel up to 6 feet.

How much does a southern rockhopper penguin weigh?

The weight of the rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) is about 4.4–7.5 lb ((1.99-3.40 kg). While the northern rockhopper penguin's (Eudyptes Moseleyi ) weight is about 5.5 lb (2.49 kg), the African penguin weighs up to 6.83 lb (3.09 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female penguin species rockhoppers have no distinct names.

What would you call a baby southern rockhopper penguin?

Chicks of southern rockhopper penguins don't have any special name.

What do they eat?

Rockhopper penguins have a vast diets that mainly consists of krill (Euphausiacea). They also eat cuttlefish, lantern fish, mollusks, squid, plankton, octopus, and other crustaceans. This rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) goes to the sea every day to forage.

Are they poisonous?

Both northern penguins and rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) are not poisonous. Another species, the king penguin, is also not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Rockhopper penguins seem to be the most widely recognized of the crested penguins. As their conservation status is vulnerable, it's not advisable to keep them as a pet.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

They're not particularly quick on land. Unlike most other penguins, who will slide about on ice on their stomachs, this is where they got their common title. On land, rockhoppers love to hop around their colony's rocky coastlines. These penguins can be spotted leaping along the rugged, windswept coastlines of the islands North Antarctic region, through Chile to New Zealand.

All rockhopper penguins can be found on the islands off the coasts of Antarctica and New Zealand, including the southernmost tip of South America. Northern penguins ( Eudyptes moseleyi ) can be found on Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island, and other Indian Ocean islands. Eastern rockhopper penguins can be found on New Zealand's Auckland Islands and other nearby islands, and also the southmost French regions and South Africa's Marion Islands and Prince Edward Island. The southern rockhopper bird can be found on islands off Chile's and Argentina's southmost coasts.

Why is the southern rockhopper penguin endangered?

Humans are also a hazard to these rockhopper species. Because their prey is being harmed by increasing temperatures as a result of climate change, the bird's population is declining as a result of a lack of food. Prey scarcity is exacerbated by oil spills and overfishing in the sea. These Northern penguins can also become ensnared in fishing nets by accident, too.

Why do rockhoppers have red eyes?

According to scientists, the reason is unknown behind their red eyes, but it is presumably a form of social signaling amongst southern rockhopper penguins. The chemical carotene, which is also a good source of vitamin A, is responsible for the yellow eyes of yellow-eyed penguins.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these erect crested penguin facts and adélie penguin facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our southern rockhopper penguin coloring pages.

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