How do chinstrap penguins behave?

The chinstrap penguin is an Antarctic species that live in colonies made up of over 10 million animals. They communicate vocally, and males gather in groups to pump their chests and screech in unison to synchronise the penguin breeding cycle.

Chinstrap penguins move by sliding on their bellies while pushing themselves with their feet, and can dive to depths of 40 metres (130 feet). Krill makes up 95 per-cent of their diet, and as the boldest species of penguin chinstraps are known to challenge others to a fight.

Chinstrap penguins are generally monogamous and females lay two eggs in a circular nest made of stones. The parents don’t give either chick preferential treatment, even if one is clearly stronger, and chicks are ready to learn to swim by the age of two months.

The most remarkable thing about chinstrap penguins is that if a young chick dies, the mother can lay an extra egg to replace her lost offspring. A few weeks after birth, female penguins gather their young together in creche huddles to keep warm and stay safe before heading out to sea to feed.


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