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They like it warm: Africa’s Unique Penguins

Penguins are known to live in cold areas. However, one species of penguins are born in Africa. These African penguins can live to be 15 years old, but many don't reach that age as their lifespan is decreasing due to human interaction and predator attacks.

African penguins are endangered; there are about 52,000 left in the world. Oil spills, competition overfishing, humans stealing their eggs for profit, and destroying nests are just a few reasons for their population decline.

Most penguins are known to lay eggs in the open, but African penguins lay eggs differently due to the strong heat in Africa. These penguins dig large burrows and lay their eggs underground to protect them from the sun and predators. After hatching, the small chicks stay in the burrows for roughly three weeks before coming out. At six days old, they begin to stand upright. However, for the penguins and babies to get nutrition, they have to go out from the burrows and find food.

African penguins love to eat shellfish, sardines, squid, anchovies, and crustaceans. They can stay underwater for two and a half minutes to catch their prey. However, when catching food they have to be aware of their surroundings. They are hunted by dogs, cats, sharks, mongoose, leopards, orcas, and fur seals. African penguins communicate by making sounds similar to a donkey.

African penguins are important animals in the ecosystem. As climate change and human activity continue to hinder the survival of this species survival, it is important to develop ways to save and protect these creatures.

[Source: San Diego Zoo; Animalia; National Geographic]

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