The history of penguins in Africa is a history of false starts. The first penguin pioneers that settled Africa millions of years ago all went extinct. But the penguins didn’t give up. They came back, swept there by ocean currents, and repopulated the African coasts.
Where did African penguins come from?
The African penguin is only found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies on 24 islands between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is the only penguin species that breeds in Africa, and its presence gave name to the Penguin Islands.
Why do African penguins live in Africa?
African penguins live in colonies on the coast and islands of southern Africa. … To keep dry and insulated in cold water, African penguins are covered in dense, water-proof feathers. These feathers are white on the belly and black on the back, which aids in camouflage.
Do African penguins migrate?
MIGRATION: Juvenile African penguins tend to disperse along the coastline to the west and north. Birds regularly reach southern Angola and vagrants have been found off Gabon, Congo, and Mozambique. BREEDING: Breeding takes place from May through August on rocky ground with little or no vegetation.
How long have penguins been in Africa?
Penguin fossils from 10 million to 12 million years ago have been unearthed in South Africa, the oldest fossil evidence of these cuddly, tuxedoed birds in Africa.
Why are African penguins dying?
African penguins have been sliding towards extinction since industrial fishing started around the Cape. … BirdLife International report that recent data have revealed that the African penguin is undergoing a very rapid population decline, probably as a result of commercial fisheries and shifts in prey populations.
How many African penguins are left?
There are 140,000 African Penguins left in the world.
Does it snow in Africa?
Snow is an almost annual occurrence on some of the mountains of South Africa, including those of the Cedarberg and around Ceres in the South-Western Cape, and on the Drakensberg in Natal and Lesotho. … Additionally, snow regularly falls in the Atlas Mountains in the Maghreb.
Where do African penguins sleep?
Penguins possess an exceptional skill to sleep in the water or while standing up. On some occasions, they sleep with their beaks popped-in below their wings.
How deep can an African penguin dive?
To help them catch their prey, which consists primarily of small fish, such as anchovies, squid and crustaceans, African penguins can dive up to 400 feet deep and hold their breath for 2 and a half minutes.
What temperature do African penguins live in?
These birds live in inshore coastal waters where the temperature is 5-20o C (41-68o F). They come to land to breed, molt, and rest. The islands they inhabit are either flat and sandy with sparse to abundant vegetation or rocky with almost no vegetation.
Do African penguins have predators?
Predators: African penguins face predation by gulls, feral cats and mongoose while nesting on land, sharks and fur seals prey on African penguins in the water.
What is one threat African penguins face?
In addition to these severe and largely artificial threats, other dangers penguins face include storms destroying nesting areas, disease outbreaks in penguin colonies and predation by seals, skuas, orcas, sharks, giant petrals and other marine animals.
Does it snow in South Africa?
Snow is a rare occurrence, with snowfall having been experienced in May 1956, August 1962, June 1964, September 1981, August 2006 (light), on 27 June 2007, accumulating up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) in the southern suburbs, and most recently on 7 August 2012.
Why does South Africa have penguins?
One possible cause is sea level change. Penguins like to breed in places where land predators can’t reach their eggs, so small rocky islands are ideal. The sea level has dropped over the past few million years in South Africa, and many islands that existed five million years ago are now connected to the mainland.
What is another name for African penguins?
African penguin, (Spheniscus demersus), also called black-footed penguin, Cape penguin, or jackass penguin, species of penguin (order Sphenisciformes) characterized by a single band of black feathers cutting across the breast and a circle of featherless skin that completely surrounds each eye.