Gentoo Penguin (species: Pygoscelis papua) in Birds of Argentina (Gaia Guide)
Pygoscelis papua
Gentoo Penguin

©Liam Quinn: Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua)

©Priya Venkatesh: Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua)

©Liam Quinn: Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Sphenisciformes
Family Spheniscidae
Genus Pygoscelis
Species Pygoscelis papua
Status near threatened



Distinguishing features

The gentoo penguin is easily recognized by the wide white stripe extending like a bonnet across the top of its head and its bright orange-red bill. They have pale whitish-pink webbed feet and a fairly long tail - the most prominent tail of all penguins. Chicks have grey backs with white fronts. As the Gentoo penguin waddles along on land, its tail sticks out behind, sweeping from side to side. (Wikipedia)


  • From 51 cm to 90 cm (Height)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.


Interesting facts

  • They are the fastest underwater swimming penguins, reaching speeds of 36 km/h. (Wikipedia)


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

The breeding colonies of gentoo penguins are located on ice-free surface. Colonies can be directly dependent on the shoreline but are also considerably located inland. They prefer shallow coastal areas and often nest between tufts of grass. In South Georgia, for example, breeding colonies are two kilometres inland. Whereas in colonies farther inland, where the penguins nest between tufts of grass, they shift location slightly every year because the grass may get trampled over time.

Gentoos breed on many sub-Antarctic islands. The main colonies are on the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Kerguelen Islands; smaller populations are found on Macquarie Island, Heard Islands, South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. (Wikipedia)


Gentoos live mainly on crustaceans such as krill, with fish making up only about 15% of the diet. (Wikipedia)

Web resources