The Galapagos Penguins are the least noisy of all other penguin species. They are a member of the banded group of penguins.
Common Name: Galapagos Penguin
Scientific name: Spheniscus mendiculus
Population: 600 breeding pairs
Weight and height: 2.5 kg, 49 cm – 55 cm
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Conservation status: Endangered
Population Trend: Decreasing
Geographic Breeding Range: Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Prey/diet: Engraulidae, South American pilchard and mullet, Salema, striped herring or Pacific piquitingas, fish in the families Sphyraenidae and Carangidaeas, well as some crustaceans.
Photo credit: Mike Weston
Distinguishing physical characteristics: On both sides of the head, a narrow white line of feathers extends from behind the eyes, around the ear, and down to join at the throat. A dark throat band and a second dark band on the upper breast runs down toward the legs on both sides of the body. Pink patches of bare skin are noticeable around the base of the bill and the eye during the breeding season. The lower mandible of the bill is pink with black at the tip. Upper mandible is black. Chin has a small patch of white feathers. Feet and legs are black, eyes are brown.
Interesting tidbit about Galapagos Penguins: This is the only penguin species that crosses the equator and has some populations that breed just along the edge of the Northern Hemisphere. All other penguin species breed entirely in the Southern Hemisphere.