African penguins are the only penguin species native to South Africa. They used to be called ‘jackass penguins’ due to their donkey-like bray. But in order to distinguish them from the existing species of jackass penguins native to the polar regions, the birds with the pink patches around their eyes were renamed African penguins.
A Tailormade Wetsuit
Their plumage isn't just water-repellent and insulating, it's even buoyant! It's oiled with a naturally produced secretion, the lower down layer warms them perfectly and an air cushion between the feathers insulates and helps them swim.
Their black-and-white plumage is the perfect camouflage: seen from below, their white belly is similar to the bright surface of the water and from above their black back blends into the depths of the ocean – this is also known as countershading.
Did you know...
...African penguins are one of the smallest penguin species at just 70 cm and weighing about 3 kg, they can incubate 2 to 3 eggs for over a month at a time and they pad their nests with their own excrement, the so-called guano?