Surely when you think about penguins, you think about ice and snow and the harsh Antarctic, however, there is one species of penguin that lives in a much milder place closer to the equator, right in The Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos Penguin, scientific name Spheniscus mendiculus, is most famously known for being the only penguin found north of the equator. They are also one of the smallest penguins in the world, reaching only about 2.5 kgs (5.5 pounds) and 50 cm (19 inches).
The Galapagos penguin habitat is unique, as it lives in much warmer waters than its relatives, but they are able to survive here because of the cool waters brought in by the cool temperatures resulting from the Humboldt and Cromwell Currents, which also bring in rich nutrients and support many small fish, which the penguins love to eat.
Galapagos penguin adaptations include their ability to swim very fast underwater, in order to catch fish to eat, as well as the behavioral adaptation to live in small caves and crevices in the rocks, since they cannot burrow in peat moss like their African penguin cousins.
Luckily, these penguins live on the islands year-round, and you can see, and hopefully swim with, Galapagos Penguins around Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, Santiago and Bartolome Islands.
Though there are many birds and animals to see on your tour on the archipelago, the Galapagos Penguins are a strong favorite among many of our guests. Join us on a tour to witness these unique animals in their natural habitat!