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Adelie Penguin

The Adelie penguin is one of the more common and well-known species of penguins that reside in the Antarctic, mostly on beaches, islands and headlands along the coastline. The Adelie penguin is easily recognizable due to it’s white chest, a white ring around its eyes, with a red beak.

Adelie penguins live in groups, forming colonies on the beaches and islands that they inhabit in Anartatica. They will often leave their winter location to go to warmer climates, arriving in mountain ranges during early fall. They begin to create colonies amongst themselves, competing for the nesting areas, with older birds getting to pick the best spots.

When Adelie penguins mate, they’ll often build a rocky nest, made up out of many tiny stones, which they carry in their beaks. They begin laying eggs, two at a time, which are often a light green shade, during early winter or late autumn. Both the males and females will incubate the eggs, although the female will go back to sea first. The chicks hatch in a little over a month, and are watched over very carefully by their parents at first, who regurgitate food to them. Two chicks hatch at the same time, with one of the two always been stronger than the other, able to fight for food more strongly than the sibling.

The baby chicks quickly begin to develop a thick cover of grey, downy feathers, and grow quickly to become as big as their parents. After about a month, they will huddle together with other chicks the same age, in order to protect themselves from prey, as well as to stay warm. This way, the parents can go hunt for food knowing that the Adelie chicks are protected. You can easily spot  Adelie penguins doing this, as they are always in large groups for protection. By the time it’s spring, many of the Adelie chicks are large enough to be on their own.

The Adelie penguin needs to mainly look out for leopard seals, which will often hide underneath the surface of the water, while waiting for the penguins to enter the office. However, they don’t come after them so often as they travel in packs to stay safe.

Scientists often use the appearance and abundance of Adelie penguins to ensure that there is krill in the area, as this is what the Adelie penguin mainly feeds on.

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