African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) – ZOO Antwerp, Belgium

Order: Sphenisciformes          Family: Spheniscidae          Genus: Spheniscus        
Binominal name: Spheniscus demersus (Manchot du Cap, Brillen pinguïn, Zwartvoetpinguin)

These representatives of the world of non-flying birds are so small, but they are very kind and beautiful! Calm and trusting, they accept friendly your presence and your approaching. You can always recognize them by their pink color around the eyes, which gives them so much of charm! You may even think that they "look to the world through rose-colored glasses". But in the nature nothing is accidental, and in this case also: The pink colouration of the skin around the eyes is actually associated with the temperature changes which affect the blood circulation of the small charming creatures. Depending on the ambient temperature, the pink color becomes more strong or paler. They have a black head, black back and white belly with a very distinctive black band that passes in front of the chest.

African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) are monogamous, they live at pairs and they inhabit the waters around the southwest coast of South Africa in colonies on a 24 islands in this part of the world. In the world are numbered no more than 70,000 breeding pairs. The adults reach a size 65-68 cm and weighing 3-3.5 kg. The African penguins find their food in the open sea and can swim up to 20 km inside the sea, where they find a small marine life for food such as sardines and anchovies, squid, small crustaceans and other small marine biomass. Despite their cyclical migration, the colonies of couples always return every year on the same terrain. Carefully grown the eggs which the mother lays in the period of breeding, such as distributes these care between both parents. The incubation period lasts 40 days. African penguins usually are reproduced during the African winter, when the temperatures are lower. In the wild, the life expectancy of African penguins is 10 to 27 years but they can live up to 30 years in Zoos and special Reserves.

In the early 19th century, in the free state in the wild, there were approximately 4 million African penguins, but only about 10 percent of them remain in the late 20th century. For approximately a century and a half their population has decreased by about 90%. One of the biggest reasons for the rapid decrease of the number of African penguins is the extensive industrialization in areas of their natural habitat and the drastic contamination of the nature with industrial and chemical waste products. According to data from 2010, if the decline of the population of African penguins is not controlled, is expected to disappear this kind to 15 years. In November 2013, the African penguins are registered as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Favorable conditions for the breeding and rearing of the population of African penguins are established in many zoos around the world where they are protected to not fall prey to their predator enemies in the wild nature. And they are grateful by their extremely charming presence! These sweet creatures in ZOO Antwerp were born on 01/27/2015 and are subject to a lot of care and attention from the visitors to the zoo.

Related images

African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins have a wonderful habitat in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins have a wonderful habitat in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins have a wonderful habitat in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins - life around the lake in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins - perfectly organized under the rules of the colony, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins - perfectly organized under the rules of the colony, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins - life around the lake in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins have a wonderful habitat in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins - the sweet little inhabitants of ZOO Antwerp, Belgium

Confidence in ZOO Antwerp! They need care and protection because they are an endangered species!

Confidence in ZOO Antwerp! They need care and protection because they are an endangered species!

African penguins - the sweet little inhabitants of ZOO Antwerp, Belgium

African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins have a wonderful habitat in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins in the marvelous conditions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins - the sweet little inhabitants of ZOO Antwerp, Belgium

African penguins - the sweet little inhabitants of ZOO Antwerp, Belgium

African penguins in the marvelous conditions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins have a wonderful habitat in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins in the marvelous conditions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins can't fly, but they are excellent swimmers, ZOO Antwerp, Belgium

African penguins in an environment similar to their natural in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins in an environment similar to their natural in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African penguins can't fly, but they are excellent swimmers, ZOO Antwerp, Belgium

African penguins in the marvelous conditions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Related links

http://www.zooantwerpen.be/en

http://www.photovolcanica.com/PenguinSpecies/African/AfricanJackassPenguinPhotos.html

http://www.flanderstoday.eu/living/new-penguin-colony-arrives-antwerp-zoo