Sunday, October 10, 2010

Penguin Pals: Diego

The penguin I would like to introduce you to today is Diego. Diego is a southern rockhopper with a green bracelet on his left wing. He was born at SeaWorld in Orlando on December 4, 2007.

Diego is named after a small group of islands named the Diego Ramirez island group. These islands are found in southern Chile in the Drake Passage, about 100 km (60 miles) south of Cape Horn, and hold the title as being the southernmost point of the South American continent. The islands were first sighted by Captain Marco Ramirez in 1619 and were named after Diego Ramirez, a member of the expedition.

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Even though the land area of these tiny islands is only about 1 km (0.4 square miles, so tiny they don't even appear on the map!), they are important breeding areas to many seabird species including black-browed albatross, shy albatross, grey headed albatross, southern giant-petrels and of course southern rockhoppers.

Diego captures the adventurous spirit of the explorers that found those remote islands 400 years ago. He is always swimming, exploring every corner of the exhibit. In the morning we can usually find him on one of the other penguin islands and he often cries out, letting everyone know where he is.

Watch as Diego hops into the water and goes off to explore the rest of the exhibit.

This Columbus Day weekend, come by and explore the Aquarium yourself! Make sure to say hello to Diego.

- Andrea

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