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Magellanic penguins wear the typical black and white tuxedo pattern, which is an adaptation called counter-shading. To prey swimming below, the penguin’s white belly blends in with the sunlight above. To predators swimming above, the penguin’s black back blends in with the dark sea below.

2 magellantic penguins standing

Did You Know?

While most groups of birds are called flocks, a group of penguins has a different name, a waddle, obviously based on the awkward way they walk on land.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Spheniscus magellanicus

Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and coasts of southern South America

Ocean and coastal shores

2 to 2.3 ft

15 - 20 years

Zoo Location:
Birds of the World

Small fish and squid

Risk Status:
Species at Risk (IUCN—Lower risk/near threatened)