Simonstown, South Africa

This charming African penguin jumps over a boulder. It looks quite peculiar as it leaps over the gap. The penguin has its wings spread, like gliding in the air. African penguins cannot fly, as we all know, but in this photograph, it looks nearly like flying.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 11 September, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/13
  • Exposure time: 1/2000s
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length: 200mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 4098 by 2732 pixels (WxH).

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This charming African penguin jumps over a boulder in an awkwardly lovely fashion. It looks quite peculiar as it leaps over the gap. The penguin has its wings spread, like gliding in the air. African penguins cannot fly, as we all know, but in this photograph, it looks nearly like flying. Behind this lovely bird are soft white clouds in the African sky. It is genuinely entertaining to watch these penguins waddle on the beach.

African penguins have a ‘catastrophic molt’ that happens once a year. During this period, they will stay on land and will lose and replace all their feathers. It lasts between 2 – 3 weeks.

Besides the African penguin species, there are many others all over the world. The French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville named the Adélie penguins after his wife, Adélie Land. He discovered these penguins in 1840. Then there are the Macaroni penguins. That name comes from the fact that they look like the flamboyantly dressed group of 18th-century aristocrats, called the ‘Macaronis.’ The Gentoo penguin does not have a clear history of how it got its name. However, their Latin name Pygoscelis, which means ‘brush-tailed,’ is accurate. The Gentoo penguins have the most prominent tail of all penguins species that brushes side to side as they waddle.

The African penguin, Spheniscus demersus, is endangered on the IUCN red list.

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