Four penguin species

On the left stands the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus), also known as the Jackass penguin for their diagnostic call (which sounds like a donkey), as well as Black-footed penguin – even though their feet are more often than not splotched with pink.

Next to that is the Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus). They are the second smallest penguin species in the world, after the Little penguin, and also the only penguin to occur north of the equator. Sadly their small size and fragile habitat means these little birds are preyed upon by a whole host of animals and are greatly influenced by human activities. They frequently get tangled in fishing gear, amongst other things. The IUCN lists them as Endangered.

Centre stage is the Little penguin (Eudyptula minor). It is the smallest species of penguin in the world, standing a mere 33 cm tall. In Australia they’re also known as Fairy penguins, while they more commonly don the name (Little) Blue penguin in New Zealand. They are also known by their Māori name ‘kororā’.

Lastly, the Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri). Emperors are probably the best known of all penguins, and hold several records.
1) They are the largest penguin species, standing up to 130 cm tall.
2) They are the only penguins to nest during the Antarctic winter, where they survive the coldest living conditions of all birds: up to -60 degrees Celsius with 140+ km/h winds.
3) They can withstand these temperatures in part thanks to the most densely packed plumage of all birds: on average 15 feathers fill every square centimetre of their body.
4) With their young living in crèches and everyone looking alike, parents and chicks only have their voice to recognise each other by, which also gives them the most diverse individual vocalisations of all penguin species.

On top of that they can dive to more than 500 metres deep and hold their breath for almost 20 minutes.