Last week, Mumbai’s Byculla Zoo announced the addition of two new Humboldt penguin chicks this year. The two join seven adult Humboldt penguins at Byculla Zoo — Popeye, Flipper, Bubble, and the new parents.
- Humboldt penguins are a medium-sized species among at least 17 species.
- The largest, the Emperor penguin, stands at over 4 ft tall while the Little penguin has a maximum height of 1 ft. Humboldt penguins have an average height of just over 2 ft.
- Penguins are divided into six genera (see table). The Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) belongs to a genus that is commonly known as the ‘banded’ group. Humboldt penguins are endemic to the Pacific coasts of Chile and Peru.
- They are so named because their habitat is located near the Humboldt Current, a large oceanic upwelling characterised by cold waters.
- Humboldt penguins have large, bare skin patches around their eyes, an adaptation to help keep them cool.
- The Humboldt is one of the most popular zoo penguins due to its ability to withstand warmer climates.