Temporal range: Middle Miocene - Recent
|Spheniscus demersus, the African penguin|
The banded penguins are the penguins of the Spheniscus genus. There are four living species of penguins known as banded penguins, and all have similar coloration. They are sometimes also known as "jack-ass penguins" due to their loud locator calls sounding similar to a donkey braying. Common traits include a band of black that runs around their bodies bordering their black dorsal coloring, black beaks with a small vertical white band, distinct spots on their bellies, and a small patch of unfeathered or thinly feathered skin around their eyes that can be either white or pink. All members of this genus lay their eggs and raise their young in burrows.
The banded penguins belong to the genus Spheniscus, which was established by Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760. The word Spheniscus is the diminutive of sphẽn or sphẽnos, meaning "wedge"; this is a reference to the penguin's thin, wedge-shaped flippers.
The African, Humboldt, and Magellanic species all live in more temperate climates such as South Africa and the southern coasts of Chile and Argentina while the Galápagos penguin is native to the Galapagos Islands, making it the most northerly of all penguin species. Ornithologists believe that the banded penguins originated in South America, even though the oldest penguin fossils from Antarctica belong to the genus.
The four extant species of banded penguins (Spheniscus) are:
Image Common name Binomial name Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus Humboldt penguin Spheniscus humboldti Galapagos penguin Spheniscus mendiculus African penguin, black-footed or jackass penguin Spheniscus demersus
Several extinct species are known from fossils:
- Spheniscus muizoni (Pisco Middle/Late Miocene of Cerro La Bruja, Peru)
- Spheniscus chilensis (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Chile)
- Spheniscus megaramphus (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Peru and Chile)
- Spheniscus urbinai (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Peru and Chile)
- Favaro L; Ozella L; Pessani D (20 July 2014). "The Vocal Repertoire of the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus): Structure and Function of Calls". PLoS ONE. 9 (7): e103460. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103460.
- Ellis, Richard (2004). No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species. New York: Harper Perennial. p. 69. ISBN 0-06-055804-0.
- "ITIS Report: Spheniscus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, UK: Christopher Helm. p. 361. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
- Jadwiszczak, Piotr; Krajewski, Krzysztof P.; Pushina, Zinaida; Tatur, Andrzej; Zieliński, Grzegorz (2013-06-01). "The first record of fossil penguins from East Antarctica". Antarctic Science. 25 (3): 397–408. ISSN 0954-1020. doi:10.1017/S0954102012000909.