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A lot of people wonder about the distinctive yellow feathers, or crests, that are unique to our rockhopper penguins.
Not only do these crests help visitors distinguish rockhoppers from the two other species that live here — African and little blue — they also help the rockhoppers recognize their own species. This is especially useful while the penguins are swimming!
The crests are also used by nesting penguins to attract a mate. While shaking their heads rapidly, the crests whirl around and look very impressive to the opposite sex.
The Northern and Southern rockhoppers have different kinds of crests. Can you tell the difference?
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2011 South Africa Expedition
Little blue penguins
2008 Chile Rockhopper Expedition
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The Aquarium is home to more than 80 penguins who live in a bustling colony found on Level 1 surrounding the Giant Ocean Tank. The Aquarium breeds African penguins as part of a Species Survival Plan and promotes education programs about penguins around the world.
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