The Adelie penguin is a skimpy bird of the spheniscidae family, the sphenisciformes order, with short wings unfit for flying serving as the swimmer, the prominent beak and the palm legs (the front fingers are joined by a swiming membrane) at the extremity posterior to the trunk.
The name “Adelie” comes from the name of the wife of the French explorer Dumont d’Urville (1790-1842), because, according to him, she was as graceful as this penguin. The total population is 2-2.6 million pairs. It is the smallest and the most studied.
They meet in the cold area of the southern hemisphere formed by Antarctica and the islands close to it.
Consume small fish and cephalopods, and rarely liquids or insects. Some penguin breeds feed at night.
They are considered elegant and funny birds. They have plumage although they can not fly. The life span of these penguins is unknown due to the extremely cold area they live in and has prevented their thorough research.
However, it is approximated around 20 years. The adelie penguin is small compared to the royal penguin. Shows the famous “fluffy” fabric, a layer of short feathers that together with the fat layer protects the body from frost.
They store large amounts of energy in the form of adipose tissue and can live long without feeding.
The head is black and around the eye has a white circle, distinctive sign for this species. They are distinguished by their relatives and by the feathers at the base of the tail. This is longer than the other penguins.
The swans are pink and they help them swim. They are very good swimmers, fast, and can sink up to 20 (or even 50) meters deep. They weigh 4-5 kg and have a length of 60-70 cm.
They are sociable animals. They live in communities of thousands of copies. Adelie penguins defend not only the nests but also the colony. This species moves quickly on ice sliding down its stomach and using its wings and legs to reach a higher speed.
It keeps its partners every year, so couples stay unchanged, in other words they are monogamous.
They live in the Antarctic, characterized by ice and Antarctic oases. In winter, the temperature may be -10 ° C or less than -40 ° C. The South Pole is also the “pole of cold” because the temperature can reach -90oC.
Precipitation is 100-200 mm / year, the atmosphere being poor in water vapor. Cyclons also appear. The only life forms are bacteria, and primitive plants (muscles) meet on ice-free strips. But the ocean is rich in resources, phytoplankton and zooplankton are abundant, the latter being food for penguins, seals, whales.
Adelie penguin spends most of his time near the ocean, in rocky places, good for building nests.
The greatest danger is represented by sea leopards who feed on any species of penguins, but especially with Adelie. They hide under the ice terraces and bind the nearby penguins or those who are preparing to jump into the water.
The mating season is in September when they form colonies. They reach sexual maturity at 8 years. They build their nests in the form of small depths surrounded by pebbles.
They are very close to one another and are found in areas with rich polar vegetation, sometimes in the vicinity of human settlements because most of the territory they live on is covered by ice. The female deposits 2 eggs.
The first egg is larger than the second. These are either brown or green. After 30-45 days the chickens come out of eggs. The one who comes out first is nourished first, leading to a difference in weight between the two newborns.
This difference remains until the first chicken goes to the ocean to feed. Then the younger female gives her more food. Every mother recognizes the chicken after shouting.
Eggs are both male and female. During this time, adults do not eat. The male can produce chicken milk from the esophagus (also called “emergency milk”). With him he can breastfeed for 2 weeks.