The Byculla Zoo in Mumbai announced the arrival of two new Humboldt penguin chicks this year last week. On May 1, Flipper and Mr Molt welcomed Oreo into the world, while Daisy and Donald welcomed an unidentified baby girl on August 19. Popeye, Flipper, Bubble, and the new parents are among the seven adult Humboldt penguins at Byculla Zoo.
Humboldt penguins are one of at least 17 species of penguins. According to the Smithsonian Institute, the precise number of different species is disputed, although it is widely accepted that there are between 17 and 19 species. The Emperor penguin is the biggest, at over 4 feet tall, while the Little penguin is just 1 foot tall. The average height of a Humboldt penguin is slightly over 2 feet.
Penguins are classified into six different genera (see table). The Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is a member of the genus Spheniscus, which is also known as the “banded” group. Humboldt penguins are only found in Chile’s and Peru’s Pacific coasts. They get their name from their habitat, which is near the Humboldt Current, a huge marine upwelling with chilly waters.
According to the Smithsonian Institute, Humboldt penguins have wide, exposed skin patches around their eyes as a cooling mechanism. In the wild, their breeding season is either March-April or September-October, depending on the colony’s location. According to the Institute’s website, “the Humboldt is one of the most popular zoo penguins owing to its capacity to tolerate warmer temperatures.”
The seven adult penguins at Byculla Zoo were imported from Seoul in 2016. Through a process known as ‘brooding,’ the unidentified chick is being cared for by its parents Flipper, the zoo’s oldest female penguin, and Mr Molt, the zoo’s youngest male penguin. Its gender is yet to be determined.
Source: The Indian Express