Adorable penguin chicks chase light reflection
The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is also known as South African Penguin, Cape Penguin, Black-footed Penguin, and Jackass Penguin. It shares the Spheniscus genus with three other species: the Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus), the Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti), and the Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus). All four species have similar coloration, but the African Penguin cannot be mistaken by any of the other three in the wild, as it is confined to southern African waters, whereas the other species are found in South America.
With the exception of the Galapagos Penguin, which is found north of the Equator, all penguin species live in the Southern Hemisphere. Because penguins are flightless birds who spend a large portion of their time in the water, their wings have been modified into flippers, to make them better swimmers.
A penguin's coloration is counter-shaded for camouflage, with a white front and black back, so that when they are swimming, it is hard for a predator looking up to distinguish them from the reflective water surface, whereas the black helps them when seen from above.
Their aquatically adapted bodies make them waddle when they walk, so another way to move around out of the water is to slide on their bellies in the snow or on ice, using their feet to steer and propel themselves. Penguins can also jump, which is often observed in Rockhopper Penguins.