Little Penguin Facts
- First of all, the mesmerizing Little Penguin may surprise you. That’s because its adorableness conceals several amazing facts. Most notably, though, remains the simple fact that it ranks as the smallest of all known varieties of penguin.
- Also, the marvelous avian does not live in extreme cold. Many people erroneously assume all penguins do. Rather, like some similar species, the Little Penguin actually lives in a decidedly temperate environment.
- Further, in various parts of its native range, the marvelous bird sometimes goes by other names. These include fairy penguins and blue penguins. In addition, the Maori call it the kororā.
- Quite fortunately, the marvelous animal also appears to exist in large numbers. Yet another fact that separates it from many related species. Therefore, the IUCN currently lists it as Least Concern.
Little Penguin Physical Description
First and foremost, the wonderful Little Penguin lives up to its common name. That holds true due to the diminutive size of the remarkable animal. In its case, both genders attain roughly the same height and weight.
Therefore, height averages only 13 in (33 cm), and weight averages 3.3 lb (1.5 kg), in both genders. But, the species does display sexual dimorphism. However, in this instance, it appears in the size of the bill. That of the male reaches a slightly greater length.
Further, the Little Penguin presents a unique color pattern. As a result, the head, wings, and back typically appear a distinctive blue in color. Meanwhile, the front part of the body of the bird usually displays a bright white.
Additionally, small light gray patches surround the very small ears. But it does not end there. In addition to all this, the feet also present a unique appearance. That’s because the top show a light pink, while the soles appear black.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Sphenisciformes
- Family: Spheniscidae
- Genus: Eudyptula
- Species: E. minor
Little Penguin Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Within that area, however, it dwells in a specific habitat section. This mainly consists of the coastlines of the two countries. But, the unique animal also inhabits several islands within that area.
Further, like all penguins, the avian has an entirely carnivorous diet. Also mirroring related species, this mainly consists of various small types of fish. However, it also dines on small crustaceans and cephalopods.
In turn, however, the animal itself has several natural predators. But, these mainly consist of sea eagles and long-nosed fur seals. However, individuals often perish as accidental bycatch in commercial fishing nets.
Additionally, the genders mature at different ages. Females reach maturity at about 2 years of age. Yet males do not mature until the age of 3. While breeding and nesting can occur as a singly pair, it most often occurs in colonies.