Adélie  Penguins on Stamps





The Adélie Penguin, (Pygoscelis adeliae), is a species of penguin common along the entire Antarctic coast. They are among the most southerly distributed of all seabirds, as are the Emperor Penguin, the South Polar Skua, the Wilson's Storm Petrel, the Snow Petrel, and the Antarctic Petrel. In 1840, French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville named them for his wife, Adèle.

The Adélie Penguin is one of three species in the genus Pygoscelis.

These penguins are mid-sized, being 46 to 75 cm in length and 3.6 to 6 kg in weight. Distinctive marks are the white ring surrounding the eye and the feathers at the base of the bill. These long feathers hide most of the red bill. The tail is a little longer than other penguins' tails. The appearance looks somewhat like a tuxedo. They are a little smaller than other penguin species. Their appearance is closest to the stereotypical image of penguins as mostly black with a white belly. Adélie penguins can swim up to 45 miles per hour (72 km/h). Adélie penguins are preyed on by leopard seals and skua.

There are 38 colonies of Adélie penguins, and there are over 5 million Adélies in the Ross Sea region. Ross Island supports a colony of approximately half a million Adélies. The Adélie penguins breed from October to February on shores around the Antarctic continent. Adélies build rough nests of stones. Two eggs are laid, these are incubated for 32 to 34 days by the parents taking turns (shifts typically last for 12 days). The chicks remain in the nest for 22 days before joining crèches. The chicks moult into their juvenile plumage and go out to sea after 50 to 60 days. Adélie penguins live in groups called colonies.

(Source of text: Wikipedia)