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Zoo location: 
Scientific Name: 
Eudyptes pachyrhynchus
Phylum: 
Chordata
Species class: 
Aves
Order: 
Sphenisciformes
Family: 
Spheniscidae
Genus: 
Eudyptes
Species: 
pachyrhynchus
Status: 
Vulnerable
Population Trend: 
Decreasing
Quick Facts

Life Span: 10-20 years

Size: 55-60cm

Weight: 2.5-5kg

Collective Noun: Colony

Fun Facts

Teethless: Like other birds, penguins do not have teeth. They instead have fleshy, backwards pointing spines on their tongue to hold slippery prey, which is swallowed whole without chewing.

Maulting: Penguins are one of the few birds in the world that moult all of their feathers simultaneously. It takes about two weeks and is very stressful. Penguins cannot enter the sea during this period as they don’t have their waterproof, insulating coat. As a result, birds do not feed and may lose up to half of their body weight during this time. They are also highly vulnerable to predators.

One of the smallest of the penguin family, the Fiorland Crested Penguin has a distinctive appearance due to its yellow sulphur-coloured crests on its head and its stubby orange bill. These penguins are native to New Zealand.

At Taronga:

Visitors to Taronga Zoo may notice a very different penguin among the Little Penguins on display. His name is Mr Munro and he’s the only Fiordland Crested Penguin to be cared for by a Zoo anywhere in the world.

Mr Munro made news headlines after he was found sick and drastically underweight following a heroic 2000km swim from New Zealand. He was found on Hargraves Beach at Norah Head in November 2006 and was brought to Taronga Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital to be nursed back to health.

Zoo visitors have recently been surprised to discover Mr Munro walking throughout the Zoo grounds as part of his exercise routine. Zoo keepers use the opportunity to educate visitors about the threats facing the Fiordland Penguin, such as climate change and introduced predators, and to let people see the uniqueness of this species.

Taronga has high hopes for Mr Munro as a possible breeding bird, as there are fewer than 1000 breeding pairs.

Region: 
Source: 
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Year assessed: 
2012