What Are Some Facts About Adelie Penguins?


Quick Answer

Adelie penguins are quite small penguins, rarely exceeding 11 pounds, that live solely around Antarctica. They have black heads and backs, white bellies and dull white-to-pink legs with black soles on their feet. They are extremely social animals, with mated pairs constantly interacting and communicating with neighbors in their colonies and carefully defending their nesting sites.

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Full Answer

Adelie penguins primarily eat krill, but many other animals are also important parts of their diet, including small fish, squid and amphipods, which are a type of crustacean. They store and regurgitate this food for any newly hatched young.

Mating pairs are generally monogamous as long as both return to the mating site each breeding season. They identify each other by unique mating calls. Mating generally occurs once a year after which the females lay one to three eggs in a nest built from stones. After an incubation of 36 days, the eggs hatch, and the parents alternate feeding and caring for the young for four weeks. After four weeks, the young of the colony are brought together for protection, and both parents are free to go feed. The parents still return to feed their young until 56 days have passed, after which the young become independent. An Adelie penguin has a lifespan of between five and 16 years.

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