The Reproduction Cycle of Penguins
The male fasts for 115 days, out of which 64 days are spent supporting the eggs on its feet. The egg hatches before the females arrive from warmer waters, during which time the chick remains huddled in the father penguins pouch. The male feeds the chick regurgitated food, which has been specifically stored for the newborn and the father.
Not all females are successful at laying eggs each mating season. The ones who are successful lay 1 egg per year, which takes 55 days for incubation. Both the male and female participate in the incubation and share 6-18 days between themselves.
The hatching takes 2-3 days to complete and the chick continues to remain sheltered in the brooch pouch until they are strong enough to be left in creches or schools of chicks. The chicks take 14-16 months to become strong enough for setting off into the sea all by themselves.
Both the mates take 6 day shifts each to incubate the two eggs. The eggs take 37 days to hatch, after which the chicks remain nestled in their nest for the next 20-30 days. After this period the chicks become strong enough to join creches. These chicks grow rapidly and become mature enough to go into the sea by the 60th day after hatching!
Crested penguins (Eudyptes) have a number of sub species, which have been given here:
- Fiordland Penguin
- Royal Penguin
- Macaroni Penguin
- Rockhopper Penguin (Western, Eastern and Northern)
- Snares Penguin
- Erect-crested Penguin
All species of penguins have been enlisted under endangered animals, because of the rate at which they are dying out. Global warming, melting ice caps, increasing temperatures and hunting has severely affected the overall populous of the penguin species.