Adelie Penguin

Adelie Penguin

name = Adélie Penguin
status = LC | status_system = IUCN3.1

image_width = 250px
image_caption = Adélie Penguin
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Sphenisciformes
familia = Spheniscidae
genus = "Pygoscelis"
species = "P. adeliae"
binomial = "Pygoscelis adeliae"
binomial_authority = (Hombron & Jacquinot, 1841)
The Adélie Penguin ("Pygoscelis adeliae") is a type of penguin common along the entire Antarctic coast and nearby islands. They are among most southerly distributed of all seabirds, along with Emperor Penguin, South Polar Skua, Wilson's Storm Petrel, Snow Petrel, and Antarctic Petrel. In 1830, French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville named them for his wife, Adélie.


The Adelie Penguin is one of three species in the genus "Pygoscelis". Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence suggests the genus split from other penguins around 38 million years ago, about 2 million years after the ancestors of the genus "Aptenodytes". In turn, the Adelie Penguins split off from the other members of the genus around 19 million years ago. [cite journal |author=Baker AJ, Pereira SL, Haddrath OP, Edge KA|year=2006|title=Multiple gene evidence for expansion of extant penguins out of Antarctica due to global cooling |journal=Proc Biol Sci. |volume=273 |issue=1582|pages=11–17|doi=10.1098/rspb.2005.3260 |url= |accessdate=2008-03-21|pmid=16519228]


There are 38 colonies of Adelie penguins, and there are over 5 million Adelies in the Ross Sea Region.

Ross Island supports a colony of approximately half a million Adélie penguins.


These penguins are mid-sized, being 46 to 75 cm (18 to 30 in) in length and 3.9 to 5.8 kg (8.6 to 12.8 lbs) in weight. Distinctive marks are the white ring surrounding the eye and the feathers at the base of the bill. These long feathers hide most of the red bill. The tail is a little longer than other penguins' tails.


Like all penguins, the Adelie Penguin is highly social, foraging and nesting in groups.


Although winter data is lacking, the Adélie penguin is known to feed mainly on Antarctic krill, crystal krill (ice krill), Antarctic silverfish, and Glacial Squid (diet varies depending on geographic location) during the chick-rearing season. The stable isotope record of fossil eggshell accumulated in colonies over the last 38,000 years reveals a sudden change from a fish-based diet to krill that started two hundred years ago. This is most likely due to the decline of the Antarctic Fur Seal since the late 1700s and Baleen whales in the twentieth century. The reduction of competition from these predators has resulted in a surplus of krill, which the penguins now exploit as an easier source of food. [cite journal
author= S.D. Emslie & W.P. Patterson
title=Abrupt recent shift in δ13C and δ15N values in Adélie penguin eggshell in Antarctica
journal=Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


Adélie Penguins arrive at their breeding grounds in October. Their nests consist of stones piled together. In December, the warmest month in Antarctica (about -2°C), the parents take turns incubating the egg; one goes to feed and the other stays to warm the egg. The parent who is incubating does not eat. In March, the adults and their young return to the sea. The Adélie penguin lives on sea ice but needs the ice-free land to breed. With a reduction in sea ice and a scarcity of food, populations of the Adélie penguin have dropped by 65% over the past 25 years. [ [] ]

In popular culture

* Though the coat of the Linux kernel mascot Tux does not represent a single species of penguin, some believe that he resembles the likeness of an Adelie Penguin.
* The 1938 children's book "Mr. Popper's Penguins" revolves around the story of twelve Adélie penguins.
* The 1971 film Mr. Forbush and The Penguins [] follows John Hurt's character as he spends 6 months observing (and becoming attached to) a colony of Adelie penguins.
*The 1988 children's film "The Adventures of Scamper the Penguin" featured Adélie Penguins.
* The 1995 film "The Pebble and the Penguin" was based on Adélie courtship behavior where the birds build nests of pebbles to attract mates.
*Josie, the main character of the 1999 film "Never Been Kissed", makes a reference to the penguin's lifestyle.
*The Madagascar Penguins in the 2005 film "Madagascar" are presumed to be Adelie Penguins.
*Mumble, the main character in the 2006 film "Happy Feet", is an Emperor Penguin who befriends a group of Cuban-accented Adélie penguins.
*In the webcomic Wally and Osborne, Osborne is an Adelie penguin.
*The Daily Telegraph, a major United Kingdom newspaper, ran an April Fool's Day 2008 joke promoting a BBC special showing [ flying Adélie penguins.]

Photo Gallery


External links

* [ BirdLife Species Factsheet]
* [ Info about all species of penguins]
* [ Info on Adélie Penguin]
* [ Adélie Penguin images]
* [ Photographs of Adélie Penguin]
* [ Penguin World: Adélie Penguin]
* [ Dr. George Murray Levick's 1914 book "Antarctic Penguins"]
* [ Polar Discovery: Penguins and Lava Flows]
* [ Understanding penguin response to climate and ecosystem change]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Adélie penguin — a penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae, occurring in large colonies in Antarctica. Also, Adelie penguin. Also called Adélie. [1905 10] * * * …   Universalium

  • Adelie penguin — Adelės Žemės pingvinas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Pygoscelis adeliae angl. Adelie penguin vok. Adeliepinguin, m rus. пингвин Адели, m pranc. manchot d Adélie, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – antarktiniai pingvinai …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Adélie penguin — noun Etymology: Adélie Coast, Antarctica Date: 1907 a small antarctic penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) called also Adélie …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Adelie penguin — noun medium sized penguins occurring in large colonies on the Adelie Coast of Antarctica • Syn: ↑Adelie, ↑Pygoscelis adeliae • Hypernyms: ↑penguin • Member Holonyms: ↑Pygoscelis, ↑genus Pygoscelis …   Useful english dictionary

  • Adélie penguin — /əˌdili ˈpɛŋgwən/ (say uh.deelee penggwuhn) noun a penguin Pygoscelis adeliae, which breeds mainly in Antarctica but is occasionally found on the southern coast of Australia. {named after Adélie Coast} …   Australian English dictionary

  • Adelie penguin — noun A species of penguin, scientific name Pygoscelis adeliae, with distinctive white rings surrounding the eyes …   Wiktionary

  • penguin — /peng gwin, pen /, n. Ornith. 1. any of several flightless, aquatic birds of the family Spheniscidae, of the Southern Hemisphere, having webbed feet and wings reduced to flippers. 2. Obs. See great auk. [1570 80; orig. uncert.; perh. < Welsh pen… …   Universalium

  • Penguin — Taxobox name = Penguins fossil range = Paleocene Recent image width = 250px image caption = Gentoo Penguin, Pygoscelis papua regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves infraclassis = Neognathae ordo = Sphenisciformes ordo authority =… …   Wikipedia

  • Adelie — noun medium sized penguins occurring in large colonies on the Adelie Coast of Antarctica • Syn: ↑Adelie penguin, ↑Pygoscelis adeliae • Hypernyms: ↑penguin • Member Holonyms: ↑Pygoscelis, ↑genus Pygoscelis …   Useful english dictionary

  • penguin — /ˈpɛŋgwən / (say penggwuhn), /ˈpɛngwən / (say pengwuhn) noun 1. any of various flightless aquatic birds of the family Spheniscidae of the Southern Hemisphere, with webbed feet, and wings reduced to flippers, as the little penguin and the Adélie… …   Australian English dictionary

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