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27 Stunning Species of Penguin. Both Living and Extinct

 We usually picture penguins as enjoying perpetual winters, preferring snow and colder climates. Movies depict them as arctic dwellers, laying eggs in the snow and going on whirlwind adventures that involve elephant seals and orca whales. However, the actual distribution of the different species of penguins is a little more varied. While almost all species of penguins are habituated in the Southern Hemisphere, many species prefer temperate climates, such as those in the Galapagos Islands and South Africa. In fact, penguins of a large variety of shapes and sizes have been around for millions of years. Here are 20 fascinating living and extinct penguin species.    

 

1. King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)

Different species of Penguins, King Penguin

(By Andrew Shiva, Wikimedia Commons)

 

Different species of Penguins, King Penguins mating season

(By MMessina1245, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguins, King Penguin chick

(By Liam Quinn, Wikimedia Commons

 

King penguins are the second-largest species of penguins and are under the same genus as Emperor penguins. They are spread across the South Indian and South Atlantic Ocean, namely on Kerguelen Islands, Crozet Island, Prince Edward Islands, Heard Island, McDonald Islands, and Macquarie Island.

 

2. Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri)

Different species of Penguins, Emperor penguins parents with emperor penguin chick

(By Ian Duffy, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguins, Emperor Penguin feeding its chicks

(Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguins, Emperor penguin in a colony jumping out of water

(By Christopher Michel, Wikimedia Commons

 

Emperor penguins are the heaviest and largest living species of penguins. They are evenly distributed across all ends of the coast of the Antarctic continent. 

 

3. Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)

Different species of Penguins, Adélie penguin standing on a rock

(By Andrew Shiva, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguins, Adélie Penguins during mating season, feeding chicks

(Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguins, Adélie Penguin chick in a nest

(By Jerzy Strzelecki, Wikimedia Commons

 

These are also the most widely spread penguins, along with Emperor penguins, and are found all across the Antarctic Coast.  

 

4. Chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis Antarctica)

Different species of Penguins, Chinstrap Penguin standing on a rock

(By Andrew Shiva, Wikimedia Commons)

 

Different species of Penguins, Chinstrap Penguin adult with two chicks

(By US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguins, Colony of Chinstrap penguins on a rock

(By Lewnwdc77, Wikimedia Commons

 

This penguin is found all across the various shores and islands in the Southern Pacific Ocean and the Antarctic Ocean.

 

5. Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis Papua)

Different species of Penguins, Gentoo penguin standing on rocks

(By Andrew Shiva, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguins, Colony of Gentoo penguins on a sandy beach

(By Ben Tubby, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguins, Gentoo Penguin parents with two chicks standing on rocks

(By Liam Quinn, Wikimedia Commons

 

Gentoo penguins breed and reside in several places across the Antarctic Ocean such as  Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands, and the Kerguelen Islands. Smaller colonies can be found on Macquarie Island, South Shetland Islands, Heard Islands, and across the Antarctic Peninsula. 

 

6. Little Penguin

Different species of Penguins, Little Penguin, Little blue penguin, fairy penguin

(By JJ Harrison, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguins, little blue penguin family in a burrow

(By JJ Harrison, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, little blue penguins at Melbourne Zoo, Australia at feeding time

(By Fir0002, Wikimedia Commons

 

This little guy is also known as the Fairy Penguin or fairy blue penguin. They are found along the coasts of New Zealand and Australia, with some that can be found in Chile. 

 

7. White-flippered penguin (Eudyptula minor albosignata) 

Different species of penguin, white-flippered penguin model in Auckland Museum, New Zealand

(By Auckland Museum, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different Species of Penguin, White-Flippered Penguin live standing on a rock

(By R. Roscoe, Wikimedia Commons

 

This bird gets its names from the white streaks on its flippers. It is found only in two places, the Banks Peninsula and Motunau Island, which are near Christchurch, New Zealand. 

 

8. Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)

Different species of Penguin, Magellanic Penguin in captive standing on a rock

(By Sanjay Acharya, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, colony of Magellanic Penguins walking

(By Martin St-Amant, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different Species of Penguin, Magellanic Penguin chick

(By Liam Quinn, Wikimedia Commons

 

Named after the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, these penguins are indigenous to South America, more specifically the coastal areas of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the Falkland Islands. 

 

9. Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) 

Different species of penguin, Humboldt Penguin standing on a rock

(By Adam Kumiszcza, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, two Humboldt penguins kissing during mating season

(By Drcwp1, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, colony of Humboldt penguin in Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois

(By Ronincmc, Wikimedia Commons

 

Here’s another South American penguin, named after another explorer, Alexander von Humboldt. While they are native to the coastal Chile and Peri, the majority of this species populations reside in Pinguino de Humboldt National Reserve.  

 

10. Galápagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus)

Different species of penguin, Galapagos penguin swimming in water

(By Charles J Sharp, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, Galapagos penguin standing on a rock

(By putneymark, Wikimedia Commons)

 

Different species of penguin, galapagos penguin chick

(By Aquaimages, Wikimedia Commons

 

This penguin is the only penguin that lives in the Northern Hemisphere and is native solely to the Galapagos Islands. 

 

11. African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus)

Different species of penguin, African penguin standing in sand at Boulders Beach in Cape Town

(By Bl1zz4rd, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, African Penguin colony and nest at Boulders beach, Cape Town

(By Olga Ernst, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, African penguin adult with nest and chicks on a beach

(By D. Gordon E. Robertson, Wikimedia Commons

 

Also known as the Cape penguin, it is endemic to the coasts of South Africa. It also goes by the names black-footed penguin and jackass penguin locally. 

 

12. Yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) 

Different species of penguin, Yellow-eyes penguin

(By Christian Mehlführer, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, Yellow-eyed penguin adults protecting a chick

(By Steve, Wikimedia Commons

Different species of penguin, yellow-eyed penguin chick

(By Zoharby, Wikimedia Commons

 

These topaz-eyed beauties are native to New Zealand and are also known as hoiho or tarakaka. 

 

13. Fiordland penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus)

Different species of penguin, Fiordland Penguin standing on rocks on Stewart Island, New Zealand

(By Francesco Veronesi, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of Penguin, Two Fiordland crested penguins on Munro beach

(By travelwayoflife, Wikimedia Commons

 

As the name of the penguin would suggest, this species is found most predominantly in New Zealand, in and beyond Fiordland, and ranging across Stewart Island/ Rakiura and South Island. It also goes by the names tawaki or pokotiwha locally. 

 

14. Snares penguin (Eudyptes robustus) 

Different species of Penguin, Snares penguin standing on a rock

(By Thomas Mattern, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, snares penguin colony

(By lin padgham, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, colony of Snares penguin jumping into water

(By Brocken Inaglory, Wikimedia Commons

 

This is another species indigenous to New Zealand, which also goes by the names Snares Islands penguin and Snares crested penguin. They are specifically found in a group of islands south of South Island, called the Snares. 

 

15. Erect-crested penguin (Eudyptes sclateri)

Different species of penguin, Erect-crested penguin

(By J. G. Keulemans, Wikimedia Commons

 

The Erect-Crusted Penguin is an endangered species of New Zealand penguin that used to inhabit Campbell Island but is currently most commonly found in the Antipodes Islands and the Bounty Islands.

 

16. Southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome), 

Different species of penguin, Southern Rockhopper penguin standing on a rock

(By © Samuel Blanc, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, colony of southern rockhopper penguins jumping over rocks

(By Ben Tubby, Wikimedia Commons

Different species of penguin, snares penguin chick

(By Liam Quinn, Wikimedia Commons

 

This funky fowl is found on the coasts of the Southern-most parts of South America, and the subantarctic parts of the Pacific Ocean.  

 

 

17. Eastern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome filholi)

Different species of penguin, Eastern Rockhopper penguins nesting on rocks

(By Hullwarren, Wikimedia Commons

 

This penguin is considered a subspecies of the Southern Rockhopper Penguin, despite having certain genetic differences. It is found on numerous sub-antarctic islands across the Indo-Pacific Ocean, which include Prince Edward Island, Crozet Island, Kerguelen Island, Heard Island, Macquarie Island, Campbell Island, Auckland, and the Antipodes Islands. 

 

18. Northern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi)

Different species of penguin, Northern Rockhopper penguin standing

(By Arjan Haverkamp, Wikimedia Commons

 

This rock-hopping penguin is found solely on two islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, namely Tristan da Cunha island and Gough Island. The population of this species declined by nearly 90% in the last 6 decades, now leaving the species listed as endangered. 

 

19. Royal Penguin (Eudyptes schlegeli)

Different species of penguin, Royal penguin standing

(By M. Murphy, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, two rockhopper penguins in a colony fighting

(By Brocken Inaglory, Wikimedia Commons

 

These penguins are found mostly on Macquarie Island and scattered across the surrounding sub-Antarctic islands, and are classified as near threatened, meaning they are approaching being an endangered species. 

 

20. Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus)

Different species of penguin, two macaroni penguins nesting

(By Jerzy Strzelecki, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, colony of macaroni penguins

(By Andrew Shiva, Wikimedia Commons

 

Different species of penguin, Macaroni penguin diving in water, swimming

(By Andrew Shiva, Wikimedia Commons

 

These penguins are found everywhere across the Antarctic peninsula and the Subantarctic coast. They have been declared a vulnerable species due to significant declines in their population since the 1970s. 

 

EXTINCT SPECIES

 

21. Chatham Penguin (Eudyptes chathamensis)

Different species of penguin, depiction of extinct Chatham penguins standing on rocks

(By Sean Murtha, Wikimedia Commons

 

This penguin once resided on a set of islands east of New Zealand named Chatham Islands but became extinct shortly after the islands became inhabited, approximately 500 years ago. 

 

22. Waimanu (Waimanu manneringi)

Different species of penguin, depiction of extinct Waimanu penguin

(By Nobu Tamura, Wikimedia Commons

 

This penguin lived in New Zealand during the Paleocene era, approximately 55 million years ago. 

 

23. Kumimanu (Kumimanu biceae)

Different species of penguin, graphic rendering of extinct Kumimanu penguin, compared to human size

(By Nobu Tamura, Wikimedia Commons

 

Another extinct flightless bird from New Zealand that lived approximately 66 million years ago and whose name in Maori means “monster bird”. It is one of the largest and oldest birds to have lived and is nearly the size of a fully-grown person. 

 

24. Anthropornis

Different species of penguin, Depiction of extinct Anthropornis penguin, compared to human size

(By Discott, Wikimedia Commons

 

This penguin lived during the Late Eocene era in New Zealand and Antarctica, approximately 40 million years ago, and grew to nearly 6 feet in height on average. 

 

25. Icadyptes

Different species of penguin, Artist drawing of extinct Icadyptes penguin

 

(By Nobu Tamura, Wikimedia Commons

 

The Icadyptes also lived during the Late Eocene era, in South America and were known to grow up to 5 feet in height. 

 

26. Inkayacu

Different species of penguin, Artist drawing of extinct Inkayacu penguin swimming below extinct Icadyptes penguin

(By Apokryltaros, Wikimedia Commons

 

Another Late Eocene era penguin from Peru, but unlike the Icadyptes depicted swimming above the Inkayacu penguin in the above picture, was gray and reddish-brown in color as opposed to the usual black and white. 

 

27. Kairuku

Different species of penguin, graphic rendering of extinct Kairuku penguin, compared to human size

(By Tim Bertelink, Wikimedia Commons

 

This extinct penguin was yet another bird from New Zealand, that lived approximately 27 million years ago and was as large as the average man. 

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