Facts about Rockhopper Penguins. "Scientific name for Rockhopper Penguin Eudytes chrysocome". The Rockhopper Penguin is one of the most aggressive penguins compared to other penguins, though it is small in nature. Rockhopper Penguin lives on sub Antarctic islands Chile to New Zealand. Years ago the Rockhopper Penguins were hunted for their oil but this has changed because they are now protected. This family of penguins, jumps from one rock to another rock and this explains the origin of its name.
The Rockhopper Penguins are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, if a decline continues, the Rockhopper Penguins are likely to be upgraded to endangered in the future.
Features of the Rockhopper Penguins
Rockhopper Penguins often shoot out of the water near the shore and land on rocks with a belly flop on the Antarctic islands. Rockhopper Penguins have eyes that are blood-red. They have a very loud cry. They have a orange-red beak, and pink webbed feet. Its feathers are shiny and waterproof. Each year Rockhopper Penguins moulting -(of an animal-shed old hair skin, or an old shell, to make way for a new growth that will occur, the adult birds were already molting into their winter shades of gray) loosing the feathers and grow new ones. The Rockhopper Penguin are 22 inches (55 cm) tall and weigh about 4.4 to 6.6 lbs (2 to 3 kg). The Rockhopper Penguin have red eyes and droopy feathery crest which is white and yellow in color. It is hard to separate the male from the female because they look similar.
Diet of the Rockhopper Penguin
The Rockhopper Penguin usually sticks to the shallow water and are capable of diving down to 330 feet (100 meters) in pursuit of krill, squid, fish and crustaceans.
Reproduction of the Rockhopper Penguin
You may find a hundred thousands of nests in one breeding place. The breeding is in colonies of Rockhopper Penguin. Rockhoppers Penguins play in the frigid waters of their environment using strong, narrow, flipper-like wings for propel themselves on to the ice or rock. They surround their colonies with vegetation and shrubs. The amazing thing about the Rockhopper Penguin breeding habit is that they return to the same nest more than once. They refurbish the nests and make it good for breeding once more. They bath and drink fresh water since they love living in natural springs.
Male Rockhopper penguin arrives in the colony a few days before the female one. But as soon as the female arrives the copulations begins and the process of laying eggs starts. This is around November and only two eggs are laid where the first one is smaller than the second one. The Rockhopper Penguin eggs take 30 to 34 days of incubation and than hatch.
Apart from other penguins that take care of the eggs in turns, the Rockhopper Penguin divide their shifts in three parts. The first shifts all parents are present, the second one the female stays and the third one the male stays until the eggs hatches. After that for the first 25 days the male stays around while the female one brings food for the chicks.
The Rockhopper Penguin live up to 10 years on the average in the wild. Penguins can drink sea water. "Scientific name for Penguin Sphenisciformes".
Rockhopper penguins are hunted buy large leopard seals in the water along with killer whales and large sharks.