Rockhopper Penguin

Rockhopper Penguin Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Eudyptes chrysocome
Rockhopper Penguin Physical Characteristics
Grey, Black, White
15 – 20 years
2kg – 5kg (4.4lbs – 11lbs)
Rockhopper Penguin Distribition

The tiniest crested penguins.

Rockhopper penguins are a type of penguin that live off of island coasts in the southerly hemisphere. They are among the tiniest species of penguins and are best understood for their crest of lengthy yellow plumes, along with their brilliant red eyes. Rockhopper penguins are amongst one of the most many penguin species in the world.

Amazing Rockhopper Penguin Realities!

  • Some researchers divided these penguins right into 3 species (southerly, north, and eastern), while others consider them one species.
  • They are understood for their brilliant red eyes and brilliant yellow head tuft.
  • They can dive as much as 330ft searching for target mixed-up.
  • Rockhopper penguins mate forever.
  • These penguins are discovered around the southerly hemisphere, from the southerly coastline of South America completely to New Zealand.

Rockhopper Penguin Scientific Name

The rockhopper penguin’s scientific name is Eudyptes chrysocome Eudyptes indicates “great scuba diver” in Latin, and the genus includes all the crested penguins, such as the macaroni penguin and the royal penguin. Chrysocome indicates “gold hair,” so the scientific name of these penguins indicates “gold- haired scuba divers.”

Some researchers take into consideration the rockhopper penguin to be one species of crested penguin. Various other researchers split the species up right into 3 subspecies: North rockhopper penguin, southerly rockhopper penguin, and eastern rockhopper penguin. North rockhopper penguins have a tendency to be bigger than the various other 2 subspecies.

Rockhopper Penguin Appearance

All species of these penguins have long yellow and black crest plumes, red eyes, and ruddy, red- tinted beak. At somewhat much less than 2 feet in elevation, these penguins are a couple of inches taller than a bowling pin. Males are somewhat larger than females. These penguins consider regarding 5.5 pounds; they are the tiniest species of crested penguins.

These penguins have the typical black and white coloring of many penguins, with a black coat covering the majority of their bodies with the exception of their round white stubborn bellies. They have strong red stripes in the area over their eyes called superciliary red stripes. The Northern penguins have extra noticeable crests than the southerly species.

Their chicks are mainly black and grey with black beaks, which transform brighter red and orange as they age. Adolescent penguins appear like their grown-up equivalents, conserve for spots of grey hair under their chin. Some juveniles do not have superciliary red stripes in any way.

Close up of a Rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) standing in a group of penguins and Imperial Cormorants on a coastal area of Falkland Islands.
Close of a Rockhopper penguin standing in a team of penguins and Imperial Cormorants on a seaside location of Falkland Islands.Giedriius/

Rockhopper Penguin Habits

These penguins nest along rough coastlines, therefore the name rockhopper penguin. The majority of penguin species move about on their stubborn bellies, however These penguins favor to leap amongst the rocks where they live. They favor thick spots of lawn called tussocks for reproducing and nesting.

Like many species of penguins, they are developed for swimming. They utilize their wings to push themselves around in superficial water, though they are understood to pass through to much deeper waters too. These penguins can dive as much as 300ft listed below the surface area and swim around 4mph undersea. When it is time to go back to coast, rockhopper penguins can introduce themselves out of the water and come down on their stubborn bellies on the coastline.

Rockhopper Penguin Environment

All rockhopper penguins are discovered on islands bordering Antarctica and New Zealand, along with the southerly idea of South America. The north species of this penguin survives Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha, along with islands in the Indian sea. The eastern range of rockhopper penguin survives the Auckland Islands and various other islands bordering New Zealand, along with the southerly French regions and Royal prince Edward Island and Marion islands in South Africa. The southerly rockhopper penguin prospers on islands off the southmost coastline of Chile and Argentina.

Rockhopper Penguin Diet

These penguins are predators, and their diet mainly contains krill. They additionally take part in various other tiny shellfishes along with squid.

To search, these penguins will certainly remain at sea for days at once, diving deep for krill. They have a layer of fat that maintains them afloat and cozy in the chilly sea. Rockhopper penguins, like various other species of penguins, have a high thickness of plumes that overlap and shut out wetness. They have one of the most plumes of any kind of bird species.

To better assist in searching, the red eyes of this penguin can change so they can see both above and listed below the surface area of the water. They can additionally rest while afloat mixed-up.

Rockhopper Penguin Predators and Dangers

These penguins have no land- house predators, however they have much to be afraid in the sea along with from various other species of birds. They drop target to whale whales, blue sharks, fur seals, and leopard seals. Though these penguins increasingly safeguard their young, infant penguins usually come down with shorebirds like fulmars, skuas, and kelp gulls.

Rockhopper penguins are endangered by humans too. Their target experiences increasing international temperature levels as a result of environment modification, so the penguins remain in decrease due to the fact that they can not discover adequate to eat. Overfishing and oil spills both add to the scarcity of target. These penguins can additionally inadvertently be captured in angling internet. Of the 3 species of these penguins, the north range is one of the most in danger.

Rockhopper Penguin Reproduction, Children, and Life Expectancy

The breeding period for these penguins remains in the very early springtime to late summertime. Penguins get here onshore, with male penguins normally showing up prior to the female penguins. Like many penguin species, they mate forever. The male and female set search for each various other by calling each various other. They normally find the exact same nesting website they made use of in previous years. Males start to reproduce at ages 4- 5, while females begin at ages 5- 6. These penguins remain on their eggs for regarding 4 months. As the penguins nest in their tussocks, the moms and dads take transforms breeding the eggs. They are extremely hostile and safeguard their eggs by pecking and screeching at anything that approaches.

North rockhopper penguins nest in smaller sized nests than their southerly equivalents. The dimension of north penguin nests varies from regarding 25,000 to 65,000 people. Southern penguins, nevertheless, nest in nests of as much as 130,000 penguins. This distinction may be the factor that southerly penguins have a tendency to have 2 chicks per period. The north species lay 2 eggs, however under regular scenarios, just one endures.

The rockhopper penguin moms and dads protect their children, called chicks till they have to do with a month old. Now, the chicks leave the tussocks to sign up with various other young penguins in safety teams called crèches. After they have to do with 66 days old, the penguins prepare to look after themselves.

These penguins live to be around ten years old in the wild. Nevertheless, several of the earliest rockhopper penguins live to be thirty years old. As they age, they are extra at risk to predators.

Rockhopper Penguin Population

It is approximated that there have to do with 1.5 million sets of these penguins worldwide. The species, particularly the north rockhopper penguin, has actually seen a decrease over the last thirty years. The IUCN’s Red Listing of Intimidated Species has actually categorized the north penguins as endangered as a result of fast population decrease, while the southerly penguins are provided as “vulnerable.”

Rockhopper Penguin In the Zoo

Presently, there have to do with 317 of these penguins in zoos throughout The United States and Canada. Numerous noticeable zoos include these penguins, and they are discovered in various fish tanks too.

At the Saint Louis Zoo, southerly rockhopper penguins are discovered at their Penguin and Puffin Shore exhibition. The Cincinnati Zoo and Agricultural Gardens have actually elevated these penguin chicks. And the Indianapolis Zoo includes these penguins in their Seas show and place on real-time presentations of penguin feeding, where visitors can view the penguins capture food undersea.


  1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2011) Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide To The World’s Wildlife
  2. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
  3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
  4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species
  5. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
  6. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals
  7. Christopher Perrins, Oxford University Press (2009) The Encyclopedia Of Birds
  8. National Geographic, Available here:
  9. New England Acquarium, Available here:
  10. Britannica, Available here:
  11. Oceanwide Expeditions, Available here:
  12. Center for Biological Diversity, Available here:
  13. Saint Louis Zoo, Available here:

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