The Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus), also called the Patagonian penguin, is a species of bird of the Spheniscidae family, which nests in the Falkland Islands and in the coasts and islands of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile, migrating north in the winter, reaching the waters of Uruguay and southeastern Brazil with warmer temperatures, being a vague species in Australia, Peru, Colombia, and other islands of the Atlantic South. It is the most numerous of the genus Spheniscus. The other species of this genus are the Cape penguin, the Humboldt penguin and the Galapagos penguin.

With a weight of up to 6 kg adults are almost 50 cm tall and males and females look the same, although males with on average larger. They nest in the southern cone, in Chile and Argentina, from September to March and during autumn and winter they migrate to northern waters, the population of Argentina being able to reach the waters of southern Brazil. Every year they lay two eggs and raise their young between both parents. By the month of February the youngsters reach enough weight to become independent and will not return to their colonies to reproduce until 4 or 5 years later. Adults have a high survival rate (> 90%) while the youngers during the first year is very low (approx 20%).

Like other animals in cold climates, the Magellanic penguin has a morphology suitable to minimize the loss of body heat. Its compact body, and the thick layer of fat that surrounds it plus the very compact plumage collaborate to conserve it. The animal also has an uropygia gland at the base of the tail, which secretes an impermeable oil with which it lubricates the feathers through the beak. Additionally, the distribution of blood vessels allows a very precise regulation of heat, minimizing the energy expenditure of the body.

They feed in the water, at the expense of species such as sardines, silverside, anchovy, squid, krill and other crustaceans. Climate change and the impact of the fishing industry on its habitat are two of its major problems. [10] [11] They drink seawater, which they filter through their salt excretory glands, located in the anterior angle of the orbital cavity Its operation is complementary to that of the kidneys. This adaptation is common to other seabirds.

#spanishcourses #buenosaires