Fun Magellanic Penguin Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Jan 12, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Natalie Rayworth
Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam
One of the most interesting Magellanic Penguin facts is that they are known for their white belly and black body

The Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) is a medium-sized penguin found in the Atlantic and Pacific regions of South America.

These are majorly found in islands, coastal forests, and grasslands of Argentina, Chile, and the Falklands. This bird is a carnivore and hunts fishes and aquatic life like cuttlefish and squids.

Seals and killer whales mainly hunt these gentle creatures. Despite being a bird, they lack the ability to fly, but their swimming motion is the same as flying.

The Magellanic Penguins live on both land and in the water and they travel in big groups and colonies during the breeding phase. Their worldwide population is 1.5 million, but their conservation status is Near Threatened and on the verge of becoming endangered due to natural and human-made reasons.

These are some of the most loyal living creatures on earth as they form pairs, and these pairs mate for life. Although these penguins are very cute in actions and appearance, they are quite dangerous and loud.

If you liked reading these facts, you could also check out our facts on king penguins or royal penguins.

Magellanic Penguin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Magellanic Penguin?

Magellanic Penguins are a species found in the Northern and Southern parts of South America on islands and grasslands. This species are medium-sized penguins that are carnivores and depend on aquatic creatures like squid and cuttlefish for food.

What class of animal does a Magellanic Penguin belong to?

Although penguins of this species have the ability to live on land and underwater, they belong to the class of birds, and their motion of swimming underwater resembles more like flying.

How many Magellanic Penguins are there in the world?

The estimated population of this species of penguins is estimated to be somewhere around 1.5 million. A ten percent decline in the population of Magellanic Penguins has been seen recently in the Falklands. These birds are already on the verge of becoming endangered because of a lot of natural and human reasons.

Where does a Magellanic Penguin live?

Magellanic Penguins live in the ocean and can travel far distances when they migrate or breed.  Penguins are generally found in countries like Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland islands, but they migrate to countries like Brazil and Uruguay.

What is a Magellanic Penguin's habitat?

Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) are generally animals that live on land as well as underwater. This particular species of penguin depends on aquatic life like squids, cuttlefish, and other fishes for food. The coastal forests, grasslands, islands, and rocky headlands make the perfect Magellanic Penguin habitat.

Who do Magellanic Penguins live with?

This penguin species travels in huge colonies and groups that can be as big as 400,000 in number. Megallanic Penguins are monogamous, which means they return to the same partner every year during their breeding season.

How long does a Magellanic Penguin live?

Penguin (Magellanic, specifically) species are expected to have a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years. Most adults live up to 20 years and some may even live for 30 years.

Normally, penguins attain sexual maturity at the age of three years, but some females do not breed until they are four years old and a male does not breed till he is five years old.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction mode is sexual in Magellanic Penguins, where the females breed after four years of age and the males breed after five years of age. They gather in colonies during the breeding season, which is generally from September to late February.

The males send out a call, and this is how the female penguins find their mate. Once chosen, they're known as 'breeding pairs'.

The female lays two eggs four days apart; the first egg takes 41 days to hatch, whereas the second egg takes 39 days to hatch and form a baby penguin or 'chick'.

The partners take turns in taking care of their eggs. Magellanic Penguins are known for their loyalty as the breeding pair mates for life, and they always return to the same nesting place each breeding season.

What is their conservation status?

The current status of Magellanic Penguins, according to the IUCN Red List is Near Threatened and they are already on the verge of becoming Endangered. There has been a drastic decline observed in their population, and in the Falklands, it has declined by ten percent, as recorded in recent years.

However, the worldwide population of these penguins is estimated to be around 1.5 million.

Magellanic Penguin Fun Facts

Let us look at some Magellanic Penguin facts for kids. The Magellanic Penguins do not like to be touched and can even bite humans if they feel threatened.

These penguins can swim as deep as 250 ft (76.2 m) in the water to search for food. They are named after the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Their skin is full of feathers of black, white, and blue colors.

What do Magellanic Penguins look like?

Magellanic Penguins are medium in size and have black backs with two black bands, along with white bands running across their body from top to bottom. They have white and faded black feathers in the belly area and grey-blue feathers on the backside which helps them to camouflage in the water and stay safe from their predators.

This bird is a carnivore and hunts fishes

How cute are they?

Newborn baby penguins or penguin chicks are some of the cutest creatures. They look very cute when they are clumsy and awkward. Adult penguins are also cute but not as much as chicks. The cutest thing about penguins are the way they (Magellanic Penguins) walk.

How do they communicate?

Magellanic Penguins communicate by physical behaviors known as 'displays' and they can also communicate by vocalizing. They use many vocals for nesting, nest relief rituals, chick recognition, partner recognition, defense rituals, and protecting their eggs.

How big is a Magellanic Penguin?

Magellanic Penguins are 24-29 in (61-76 cm) long and 27.5 in (70 cm) tall. They weigh between 5.9-14.3 lb (2.7-6.5 kg). They are medium-sized penguins and are five times the size of some cuttlefishes.

How fast can a Magellanic Penguin fly?

Though these penguins fall under the class of Aves and the bird category, they cannot fly. Instead, their swimming motion is similar to flying.

How much does a Magellanic Penguin weigh?

These are medium-sized penguins and the weight range of Magellanic Penguins is from 5.9-14.3 lb (2.7-6.5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no particular names for male and female Magellanic Penguins, but the scientific name for Magellanic Penguins is 'Spheniscus magellanicus'.

What would you call a baby Magellanic Penguin?

A newborn baby penguin is known as a penguin chick, hatchling or nestling. They are super cute and clumsy and are without doubt one of the cutest offspring in their part of the world.

What do they eat?

Penguins of this species are known to hunt various types of aquatic life like fishes, cuttlefish, and squid. Spheniscus magellanicus are generally hunted by killer whales, leopard seals, and large fur seals.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, this species of birds is somewhat dangerous. Adult Magellanic Penguins do not like to be touched by humans. They get irritated and can even bite a human being with their sharp beaks if they feel threatened.

Would they make a good pet?

Penguin (Magellanic, in particular) are not a very friendly type of bird, they are more of an anti-social kind and do not like to be touched or hugged. Though they are one of the most loyal birds that exist on the planet and their breeding pairs last for life, they would not make a good pet.

Did you know...

Magellanic Penguins are pronounced as 'Mag-el-lan-ic Pen-guin'. Drawing a Magellanic Penguin's body is not that hard, one can draw by following the steps.

First, you could draw the outline of the head with beak and eye, then draw the body with curved lines and the wingspan in the shape of S. Then draw two legs and feet one above another and finish the rough sketch by drawing the tail in the shape of L. Then at last draw some lines on the face to give it a penguin's look.

Naming the Magellanic Penguin

Magellanic Penguins got their name after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who, whilst sailing with his crew around the tip of South America, found this species. This was during their historical and legendary attempt to circumnavigate the world all the way back in 1519.

Is the Magellanic Penguin Endangered?

Magellanic Penguins are a Near Threatened species as of now, as it says in the IUCN Red List. The population of the species is decreasing drastically and could be Endangered soon because of various reasons like pollution, oil in water bodies and habitat loss.

The current population of penguins of this species is estimated somewhere around 1.5 million across the globe. There has been a decline of ten percent of this penguin species in the Falklands in recent times.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including laughing kookaburra, or pileated woodpeckers.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our magellanic penguin coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana Kantam picture

Spandana KantamBachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Acharya Nagarjuna University. She has a passion for writing and enjoys reading crime and thriller novels while listening to RnB music in her free time.

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