Magellanic penguin

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Animal File

Common Name:
Magellanic penguin
Scientific Name:
Spheniscus magellanicus
Size: 70 cm
Weight: 4.6 - 4.9 kg
Birds
Carnivores
Native to South America
Oceans and Seas

Conservation Status

Near threatened

Always great favourites with the visitors, the penguins here are Magellanic by species and currently, the only ones of their type in the UK. They originate from South America, specifically Chile, Argentina and the Falkland Isles where they inhabit coastal areas and steep, rocky banks.

Penguins can live for up to 25 years, but Magellanics are now classed as near threatened as tens of thousands are lost annually to oil pollution. Climate change has also severely depleted the fish stocks which they rely on for food. At the zoo, they are fed on sprats. 

Magellanic penguins nest in burrows unlike the surface-dwelling species which huddle together to form protective colonies. Unfortunately, this can result in both adults and chicks becoming infested with fleas. Male and female Magellanic penguins take it in turns to incubate the eggs over a period of 40 days or until they hatch. Each parent leaves the nest for a matter of 2 or 3 weeks in order to go out to sea to find food. Two eggs are generally laid, although only one chick may survive.

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Blackpool Zoo is now open!

We are in Tier 3 rule so we are unable to open indoor viewing areas of our animal houses or indoor seating areas – but stick your wellies on, dig out your woollies, wrap up warm and enjoy plenty of fresh air as you explore the zoo.

We are really looking forward to welcoming you all back!!

A full list of restrictions and measures in place can be found here.  Please ensure you read them before you book your tickets as they are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.