During Snow Days, come meet a couple of penguins from Shedd Aquarium in the Family Pavilion! You’ll be introduced to a couple of our outgoing penguins while one of Shedd’s trainers tells you fascinating facts about Shedd’s penguin population!
About Magellanic Penguins
The boldly banded Magellanic penguins live along the coast of southern South America, fishing the rich waters where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans intermingle at the Straits of Magellan. Both the birds and the water passage were named for the Portuguese explorer who was the first European to discover them. The poor penguins were described by Magellan’s hungry crew as black geese that had to be skinned rather than plucked before being cooked. At more than 2 feet tall, Magellanics (Spheniscus magellanicus) are the largest of the “temperate-weather” penguins — those that don’t live in the southern polar zone — and their range overlaps with that of the rockhoppers. Magellanics are superb long-distance swimmers, and with their powerful paddlelike wings, they can zoom through the water at 15 miles per hour. They often form large hunting parties in search of cuttlefish, sardines, squid, krill and other small seafood. Unlike the boisterous rockhoppers, though, they are shy on land and withdraw to burrows under rocks or shrubs to nest. Each year when the nesting colony reassembles, each male reclaims his burrow, then vocalizes to reconnect with his long-term mate. Magellanic pairs raise both chicks, guarding them from aerial predators such as gulls and petrels.