Learn about playful penguins!
The black-footed penguin is also known by the name ‘Cape Penguin’ because they are found in South Africa. These birds stand 27 inches tall, weigh between 5-8 pounds. They have firm wings that are adapted to be used as flippers to help the penguins swim. Adaptations are characteristics or behaviors that animals have to help them survive. They are able to swim up to 12 miles an hour in the water and they seem somewhat “wobbly” on land. Their side-to-side pace appears awkward as they maneuver on dry ground. This penguin makes an odd sound called a bray when it communicates, which is similar to the sound a donkey makes.
Distinctive to these penguins is the color of the body and the horseshoe mark on their chest. The front area of the black-footed penguin has speckles of black on the white areas; each penguin’s pattern of speckles is unique, which allows each individual to be easily identified. Family members can easily find each other by the different markings on each of the penguins. The Black-Footed Penguin also has a small area of pink skin above the eyes and the beak. This patch of skin is called a heat window and the bare skin allows heat to escape to cool the bird. Black-footed penguins have a sturdy, black beak with a band of lighter color near the tip. The pointed beak is used to catch fish and carry the food back to the family. In addition to their flashy dressing, these penguins have hazel colored eyes, and of course, their webbed feet are black. Webbed feet and wing flippers help the penguin swim with great speed and agility.