The cry of the gentoo penguin resembles that of the donkey. Most gentoo penguins breed on sub-Antarctic islands, where they gather vegetable matter for the nests. Some of the population breed in Antarctica where they build nests out of pebbles. The male and female take turns sitting on the two eggs that are laid. When the eggs are hatched, the offspring are fed fish, krill and other animals caught near the coast.
Gentoo penguins are just one of the penguin species living in some of the coldest regions of the world. Generally speaking, penguins can maintain a body temperature of 39º C, even while living in such extremely cold conditions. This is partly because they have more feathers per cm2 than other birds and partly because of the down at the base of each feather which adds a layer of air between their skin and the watertight plumage. In addition, they have a thick layer of blubber (fat) – some have a layer that is at least 2 cm thick – and their skin is almost 0.5 cm thick.
So despite temperatures down to -40º C and blizzards with winds approaching 130 kilometres and hour, penguins can live and breed because they are physically tailored to the conditions, just like all other animals who have their own special adaptive features.
Sub-Antarctic islands south of South America and in Antarctica.
Krill and other crustaceans, fish, squid and ZOOplankton.
Number of eggs per clutch: