Now forbidden, African penguin guano was once excavated and processed into fertilizer and their skins were manufactured into gloves.
African penguins are popular in ecotourism as they allow humans to approach closely and watch as they interact with their environment.
The primary ecotourism viewing site of African penguins is the colony at False Bay in Simons Town, South Africa with over 2,000 penguins.
Because food availability affects African penguin breeding and survival rates, food shortages in South Africa and Namibia can't maintain population equilibrium.
Both African penguin parents take part in incubating the egg for 40 days using a "brood patch," a patch of a bare skin at the base of the belly, to provide...
African penguins closely resemble the Galapagos penguins of the Pacific Ocean and Humboldt penguins and Magellanic penguins of South America.
African penguins are monogamous as pairs return to the same breeding sites year after year.
Juvenile African penguins initially have dark slate gray-blue feathers that darken with age in about 3 years.
African penguins can swim up to 20 km/h and can travel up to 110 km during each hunting trip, depending on where they forage.
African penguins are also called jackass penguins because they emit loud donkey-like brays, yells, and haws to communicate.
Cape fur seals, sharks, kelp gulls, sacred ibises, mongooses, genets, leopards, and even feral cats and dogs prey on African penguins and their eggs.
The African penguin is endangered and is undergoing a population decline, as a result of commercial fisheries, oil pollution, and shifts in prey populations.
The black and white markings of the African penguin help to camouflage it from both, aquatic and aerial, predators.
African penguins are the most common penguin found in zoos due to their size and temperature requirements.
Male African penguins are distinguishable from females due to their colors and deeper, more robust bills.
African penguins have a longevity of 10-27 years and live longer in captivity than in the wild.
African penguin populations have decreased 50% since 1978, due to nesting and guano collection disturbance, habitat alteration, oil pollution, and competition with fisheries for food.
African penguins can no longer nest in guano due to overharvesting by humans and have begun nesting in open areas and artificial nest-burrows.
African penguins feed on up to 18 species of crustaceans, primarily on small shoaling pelagic fish.
African penguins are largely resident, but some movements occur in response to prey movements.
African penguin courtship involves visual and auditory displays, such as head-swinging, neck extensions, harsh vocal calls, and bowing.
African penguins are marine and usually found within 40 km of the coast, but can remain at sea for up to 4 months.
At 2-4 months, juvenile African penguins leave the colony and later return to breed at 4-6 years.
African penguins breed throughout the year with peak months varying locally.
African penguins gather in breeding areas, called "rookeries," that range from flat, sandy islands with varying degrees of vegetation to steep, rocky islands with little foliage.
African penguins have white, bare skin over their eyes that becomes bright pinkish-red in very hot conditions.
While foraging for food, African penguins leave their hatchlings in crèches, characteristic groups common to birds that breed in colonies.
Fighting between African penguins occurs occasionally and involves the beating of wings and biting.
African penguins are susceptible to four types of blood parasites.
African penguins are diurnal and spend much of the day feeding in the water.
African penguins are social creatures that live in large colonies of up to 2,000, on the rocky coastlines of southwest Africa.
African penguins cannot easily preen their own heads and necks, and as such, participate in allopreening, or the preening of each other.
The African penguin is the only penguin species found on the African continent.