'/> Amazing Animals: 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

10 Eye-catching Rufous Colored Birds

Below is a list of Rufous-colored birds, where the color Rufous (reddish-brown) is the more prominent color of its plumage.

1. Rufous Hummingbird

photo link

Described as one of the feistiest hummingbirds in North America, the Rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) is a fairly small hummingbird with short wings, and a slender, straight, black bill. Also known for their extraordinary flight skills, the species measures about 8–9 cm (3.2–3.7 in) long. Adult males are easily recognized by its bright Rufous (reddish-brown) overall with white breast and ear patch, vivid iridescent-red throat, and green shoulders. Females are green above, white belly and Rufous flanks.

2. Glossy Ibis

photo link

The Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a medium-sized wading bird averaging around 59.4 cm (23.4 in) with an 80–105 cm (31–41 in) wingspan. It is a striking bird with iridescent bronze and Rufous (red-brown overall) plumage, and shiny bottle-green wings and tail. It has a strongly down-curved bill and long black legs. The glossy ibis is widely distributed throughout most warm temperate and tropical regions of the world.

3. Ruddy Quail-Dove

photo link

The Ruddy quail-dove (Geotrygon montana) is a medium-sized dove widespread in the tropical Americas. The species measures around 19–28 cm in length. The bird is distinguished by having Rufous overall with rust colored back, pale buff throat, streak under eye, and belly. Black tipped red bill, red legs and feet.

4. Rufous Motmot

photo link

The Rufous motmot (Baryphthengus martii) is a large near-passerine bird measuring 46 cm (18 in) long and weighs 195 g (6.9 oz). It is the second largest and arguably the most spectacular of the motmots. The species is a resident breeder in rain forests from northeastern Honduras south to western Ecuador, northeastern Bolivia, and southwestern Brazil. It is mainly cinnamon-rufous, with a black face mask and iridescent patches of turquoise blue on its head. It has a greenish-blue underparts, green wings and flanks, and dark blue tail and flight feathers.

5. Chestnut Munia

photo link

The Chestnut munia (Lonchura atricapilla), also known as Chestnut Muni, is a small Rufous (red-brown) finch found in Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It is easily identified by the black head, Rufous (red-brown) body, light grey beak, and blue-gray eyering. This passerine bird averages 11–12 cm in length. Both sexes look alike - but only the male sings. Before 1995, it was the national bird of the Philippines, where it is known as mayang pula ("red maya").

6. Nankeen Night Heron

photo link

The Nankeen night heron (Nycticorax caledonicus), also known as Rufous Night-Heron, is a medium, stocky heron found in Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, and throughout much of Australia. The striking bird measures around 55–65 cm and weighs 550–1014 g. It is a thick-necked heron, with a stooped appearance. It has reddish-brown upperparts, white-buff underparts, a black crown and bill, as well as yellow legs and feet.

7. Ferruginous Hawk

photo link

The Ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) is the largest of the North American Buteos. This species is a large, broad-winged hawk with white head, streaked, Rufous-red shoulders and back; pale rust, gray, or white tail and feathered legs. Adults measure from 51 to 69 cm (20 to 27 in) and weigh around 977–2074 g (34.5–73.2 oz).

8. Orchard Oriole

photo link

The Orchard oriole (Icterus spurius) is the smallest North American orioles. The species averages 16 cm (6.3 in) long and weighs 20 g (0.71 oz). Adult males are black above and rich reddish-chestnut below. It has a black rounded head and throat; short, squared-off tail, and a straight, sharply pointed bill.

9. Philippine Eagle-Owl

photo link

The Philippine eagle-owl (Bubo philippensis) is a vulnerable owl species endemic to the Philippines. It is one of the largest owls in the world, with an impressive wingspan of around 120 centimetres. Full grown averages 40–50 cm (16–20 in) in length. The plumage is predominantly Rufous coloured, Rufous-buff facial disc, tawny-Rufous crown, small ear-tufts and huge yellow eyes.

10. Rufous Woodpecker

photo link

The Rufous woodpecker, (Micropternus brachyurus) is a reddish brown woodpecker found in South Asia. It is a medium-sized bird with a short crest, slightly curved black bill and reddish eye. Adults average 21–25 cm (8.3–9.8 in) long and weigh between 55–114 g (1.9–4.0 oz).

Friday, October 30, 2015

The New Breakthrough in Racehorse Scoping

Racehorses are amazing creatures: strong, fast, in incredible shape. Considering the exertion they undergo on a regular basis, keeping them in the best possible fitness and condition is vital: this means they need to be given comprehensive examinations time and again.

photo link

The most common areas of concern for racehorses are gastric and respiratory issues which will affect their ability to perform as they're trained to. Before a horse is purchased, or judged in a contest, vets or judges will want to assess their condition. How do they do this?

Vet Scopes – Exploring the Equine Respiratory System

For a long time, upper respiratory problems in horses were assessed through physical examinations involving treadmill-based and resting endoscopy. However, today, vets can get a clearer, more in-depth idea to form a diagnosis thanks to videoendoscopy – more specifically, dynamic videoendoscopy (DVE).

Videoendoscopy has been a fairly standard procedure in people for a long time now, used as a non-invasive alternative to exploratory surgery which can be costly, time-consuming, and traumatic for the body. When doctors need to diagnose conditions or locate the source of pain or unusual activity, they can use videoscopes to assess the patient's insides without needing to cut into the body itself.

As the health and fitness of racehorses needs to be checked on a regular basis, videoendoscopy is now a common method of checking racehorses' respiratory tract. DVE allows vets to identify and diagnose dynamic obstructions: previous endoscoping techniques had only allowed vets to assess respiratory problems while the horse was resting, using a treadmill (which doesn't offer identical circumstances as being out on a track, with a rider), or immediately after exercise. This means certain conditions or issues would remain undetected.

photo link

Fitting an Equine Scope – Is it as Difficult as you May Think?

DVE should be preceded by a thorough exploration of the horse's history, to help ascertain how many races it has run, how many times it may have experienced injuries, its age, its diet – all the pertinent information. The videoendoscopy should be performed with the horse's usual rider, too, for the most accurate results.

This procedure should be given to a horse with no sedation for optimal accuracy, as some sedatives can affect the functions of the respiratory system. As the equine scope is inserted through the nostril, some horses may become agitated during the process, and knowing how a horse will react beforehand can be very difficult – so preparation is key.

To prevent the horse flinching and causing disruption to the procedure, using a neck or nose twitch is generally recommended, with sedation used only if the horse is demonstrating extreme resistance towards insertion. Using videoendoscopy during exercise offers the vet a chance to listen to the respiratory functions, and to hear any potential abnormalities.

To get the most accurate results, the rider should exercise the horse to its usual degree – any less will not allow the vet to get an accurate reading and form a proper diagnosis (if needed). Racehorses undergoing DVE should perform at their usual racing distance and speed, perhaps with another horse acting as a lead to mimic the usual situation. The rider may be fitted with a GPS device to give the vet more data to better analyze the overall performance.

A standard DVE system features:

A flexible insertion tube (with a diameter of 9.8mm), including an LED-fitted head, which eliminates the requirement for a bulky separate light

A robust permanent virtual circuit box, carrying the vital electronics

A bridle system to fix the tube, fitting over the standard tack

A lavage system with a pump, bottle, and necessary tubing

A remote receiver video display, relaying real-time footage

Looking to the Future of Equine Scopes

The technology used in DVE is certainly impressive, allowing the vet to control the scope's position remotely, using either a keyboard or a joystick to maneuver it as needed; in some cases, the vet may transmit the footage from the tube to other professionals (even on a global level), using basic computer equipment.

However, as technology evolves, so too will the endoscoping process. ProScope Systems, a company selling refurbished endoscopes, has created the Magic View: this is an innovative portable equine scope designed to revolutionize the entire procedure.

As a horse prepared for purchase, for contest, or undergoing a check-up will likely experience the scoping procedure multiple times, this can cause them considerable discomfort, especially if the tube causes abrasions during insertion and removal. The Magic View (patent pending) is a non-invasive alternative which provides a clear view of the horse's insides without the pain or complications.

The Magic View equine scope uses an auto iris camera and a 3.5 inch display to image the horse's respiratory system. The Upper Airway Exercise Scope provides a wireless view, with a 11.1 millimeter insertion tube, and the Lower Airway scope has a 10.5 millimeter diameter; for deeper examinations, the system includes a three-meter gastro scope.

Without the trauma of a thick scope entering their system, the horse will receive a thorough physical check in a more comfortable manner. There is 160GB internal storage for capturing plenty of footage (up to 40 hours can be recorded), and the scope itself is easily expandable. As more and more vets begin to use the Magic View, the risks involved with scoping – causing injury and distress to the horse, especially during multiple procedures – will be eliminated, and the process will be much quicker and easier.

More information on the Magic View can be found here, and it will be interesting to see how its arrival on the market redefines the process of videoendoscoping for racehorses in years to come.

About the author:

Kyle McManus is a freelance writer based in the UK.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

10 Stunning Glow-in-the-Dark Animals

Whether to lure mates, detect prey, or to escape from predators, these bioluminescent animals glow in the dark. Check them out and learn how they do it.

1. Firefly

photo link

Fireflies or lightning bugs are nocturnal beetles comprising the family Lampyridae. There are about 2,000 extant species of firefly.

Everyone knows how fireflies got their name, but many people don't know how the insects produce their signature glow. The answer is that fireflies have dedicated light organs situated below their abdomens. As oxygen enters into the abdomen, it combine with an organic compound called luciferin. A chemical reaction takes place and gives off the familiar yellow-green glow of a firefly.

This spectacular Glow-in-the-Dark insect can regulate the airflow into the abdomen producing a blinking pattern. Fireflies use their glow to attract mates.

2. Antarctic Krill

photo link

Do Antarctic krill really glow in the dark at sea? How do they do this?

Yes, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) often referred to as light-shrimp really do glow in the dark. They have photophores ("light spots") along their sides, their ventral surface (facing downward), and beneath their eyes. These photophores produce a blueish-purple light using a special chemical reaction common to many light producing animals.

3. Green Bomber Worm

photo link

Thousands of feet beneath the sea live segmented worms that can release green glowing body parts! This kind of glow-in-the-dark ability is called bioluminescence. In 2009, scientists found a new kind of glowing animal, a swimming worm. They call it a Green bomber worm (Swima bombiviridis).

To escape from predators, the "swimming green bomb" release little balloons of skin filled with a fluid that glows green. The glowing skin distracts predators, which allows the green bombers to swim away.

4. Crystal Jelly

The Crystal jelly (Aequorea Victoria) is a brightly luminescent jelly, with glowing points around the margin of the umbrella. When disturbed or threatened, it emits give a green-blue glow under special lighting because of more than 100 tiny, light-producing organs surrounding their outer bell. This emission of light comes from its ability to release calcium (Ca2) very quickly, which interacts with the photoprotein aequorin. Crystal jelly is able to glow in order to send a threat to its enemies. However, this jellyfish does not glow if it is not underwater.

5. Scorpion

photo link

Scorpions are known to glow a vibrant neon blue when exposed to ultraviolet (‘black’) light. This transformation is due to the presence of several chemicals, including beta-carboline, that cause it to glow under UV light. Scientists still can't figure out the reasons why scorpions glow. Perhaps to lure their prey, byproducts of normal chemical reactions or to attract mates. one thing is sure, scorpions lose this ability temporarily when they shed their skins, but gradually regain it after their molts.

6. New Zealand Glowworm

photo link

The New Zealand glowworms (Arachnocampa luminosa) are the larvae (maggots) of a special kind of fly known as a fungus gnat. They are found found only in the dark and damp areas of New Zealand, particularly the Waitomo Caves. The species construct a glowing canopy or a snare of sticky threads as they hang down to the ceilings or walls of caves. As night descends, they glow a radiant blue color to lure unsuspecting prey.

The glow-worm’s tail-light shines from an organ which is the equivalent of a human kidney. All insects have this organ but the glow-worm has a unique ability to produce a blue-green light from it.

The chemical reaction that produces the light consumes a lot of oxygen. An airbag surrounds the light organ, providing it with oxygen and acting as a silvery reflector to concentrate the light. The New Zealand glowworm can glow at all stages of its life cycle (except as an egg), but the larva has the brightest light.

7. Flashlight Fish

photo link

The Flashlight fish (Photoblepharon palpebratus) is a nocturnal fish of the Indo-Pacific. The species is well known for the photophores (light emitting organ) found under its eye, which harbours bioluminescent bacteria, allowing them to produce an eerie glow when seen in the dark. The fluorescent white to bluish-green glow is used to navigate, lure prey, communicate with one another and avoid predators.

8. Firefly Squid

photo link

The Firefly squid (Watasenia Scintillans) or the sparkling enope squid is found throughout the western Pacific Ocean. It gets its name from the flashing lights that resemble those of a firefly.

This spectacular glow-in-the-dark squid is equipped with special light-producing organs called photophores. Each tentacle has a photophore attached to it, which emits a deep blue light. The lights can be flashed in unison or alternated in an endless number of animated patterns. When flushed, the Firefly squid can even control these lights to scare off other predators, communicate with other members of its species, or lure in prey!

9. Clusterwink Snail

photo link

Terrestrial snails produce a glowing light from their foot to attract mates. But the Clusterwink snail (Hineas Brasiliana) is the first discovered to use the shell-flashing trick as a form of self-defense. This sea snail can flicker their spiral shells like dim, blue-green light bulbs. It emits bright blue-green flashes of light like an alarm when other creatures rub past its shell. The light is produced from the mantle tissue and shines through the pale translucent shell, which acts to diffuse the light so that the whole shell glows.

10. Sierra luminous millipedes

photo link

The eight species of millipedes in the genus Motyxia are the only millipedes that glow in the dark. Emission of a greenish-blue light is uniform across the exoskeleton, and all the appendages (legs, antennae) and body rings emit light. Luminescence is generated by means of molecules called photoproteins which generate light upon combination with oxygen or other oxidizing agents. These bugs use bioluminescence as a defence strategy to outwit predators, according to a new study.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

10 Exotic Animals With Unexpected Colors

Yes, you read it right! Here is a list of animals that are naturally blessed and dressed with striking color that make them truly stand out from the rest.

White Peacock

photo link

The White peacock (Pavo cristatus mut. alba) is not considered albino because it is simply just white. This elegant-looking bird is actually a subspecies of the Indian Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) created by a genetic mutation. The species does not possess the albino gene. It has overall white plumage, blue eyes and can mate to produce white offspring. On the other hand, Albino peacock has a weaker feather structure and pink eyes. Albino peacocks, even if successful at mating, would not automatically produce white offspring.

Red Velvet Ant

photo link

The Red Velvet ant (Dasymutilla occidentalis), also called Cow killer ant, is a wasp that resembles an ant. These critters are mostly found in Eastern and Western US. They are black overall and the body is densely covered with short, soft hair. Velvet ants are brightly coloured.

Aside from red, shades of red and black or yellow and brown hair overlay the body. The males have two pairs of transparent black wings. The females are wingless, and are often confused with ants. The females have a very toxic sting, but males do not sting.

Nicobar Pigeon

photo link

The Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) is a pigeon mainly found in South East Asia and the Pacific, from the Indian Nicobar Islands east towards Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The species is the closest living relative of the extinct dodo and is classified as Near Threatened.

A large, mainly ground-dwelling bird, the Nicobar pigeon measures 40 cm (16 in) in length. The body-weight is around 600 g. The bird's striking appearance features a metallic green back and wings, dark blackish grey with a silvery purple bloom head and chest feathers and a very short white tail. The feet are purplish red with yellow or buff claws.

Pink Katydid

photo link

Normally katydids are green and somewhat leaf-shaped, but there is an extremely rare Pink katydid. The pink coloration is the result of erythrism -- a rare genetic mutation that either leads to excessive production of red pigment or the absence of normal pigment. Little is known about pink katydids.

Rainbow Grasshopper

photo link

The Rainbow grasshopper (Dactylotum bicolor), also known as the painted grasshopper, is a species of grasshopper in the family Acrididae. The species is widespread in North America and northern Mexico. It is mainly black with distinctive bold color pattern - reddish and yellowish markings, a pale green prothorax and pale green wingpads. Adults grow to an average length of about 20 mm (0.8 in) for males and 35 mm (1.4 in) for females. Rainbow grasshopper does not develop wings and is unable to fly.

Pink Orchid Mantis

photo link

The Pink orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus), also known Walking flower mantis, is a mantis native to Malaysia and Indonesia. This master of disguise orchid mantis got its name because it resembles the flower of an orchid. The four walking legs resemble flower petals. This clever insect also changes color from pink to brown according to its environment.

Halloween Crab

photo link

The Halloween crab (Gecarcinus quadratus), also known as red land crab, moon crab, or harlequin land crab, is a colourful land crab found in mangrove, sand dunes and the coastal rainforests of Central America. The species has a dark brown upper carapace, a bright orange-red body and limbs and purple claws. Also, it has a pair of yellow, orange or reddish spots behind the eyes. Two bright yellow to white, triangular 'eyes' decorate the front of the upper carapace, while there are two white spots at the rear of the carapace.

Purple Snail

photo link

The Violet snail (Janthina janthina), also known as purple bubble raft snail, is a marine gastropod that spends its entire life cycle floating freely on the ocean surface in warm seas. The Violet sea snail inhabits the ocean surface by secreting a raft of mucus bubbles to keep it afloat. The species is often found blown ashore by strong winds.

Violet snail is easily recognized by its almost smooth, shell - light purple at the narrow top and a darker purple on the ventral side. Its shell is 3-4 cm in size. The snail's large head has a long cylindrical snout on a very flexible neck. Its body ranges from dark purple to black. Violet snails are born males but become females over time.

Indian Bull Frog

photo link

The Indian bullfrog or Asian bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) is a large frog found in the wetlands of South and South East Asia. This striking frog has pointed snout, long hind limbs and entirely webbed toes. During most of the season, they are a dull olive-green colour and have dark irregular markings. But during the mating season, its appearance can change dramatically. A male Indian Bullfrog will turn bright yellow except for the vocal sacs, which turn bright blue.

Black Rooster

photo link

The Black Rooster (Ayam Cemani) is a rare breed of chicken native to Indonesia. This breed of chicken is characterized by its ink-black feathers that shimmer with a metallic sheen of beetle green and purple. Even its beak, meat, bones and internal organs are black. Ayam Cemani is referred to as the “Lamborghini of poultry.”

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The World's 10 Most Unusual Flightless Birds

These birds have wings but won't fly! Surprised -- then go scroll down the listto know more interesting facts about the world's 10 most unusual flightless bird.

Titicaca grebe

photo link

The Titicaca flightless grebe or short-winged grebe (Rollandia microptera), is a grebe found primarily in Lake Titicaca which straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia. Though it can't fly, it is an excellent diver. The upperparts of this flightless grebe are a black-brown colour. The chin, throat and foreneck are white. The nape is chestnut to dark sooty brown.


photo link

The Takahē or South Island takahē (Porphyrio hochstetteri) is a flightless bird indigenous to New Zealand. The species was believed to be extinct by the end of the nineteenth century, but was rediscovered by Geoffrey Orbell in Fiordland in 1948. The takahē is still considered critically endangered with fewer than 300 individuals. This stocky bird with reduced wings is the largest living member of the Rallidae family. An adult measures 63 cm (25 in) and weighs about 2.7 kg (6.0 lb). It is generally purple-blue in colour, with a greenish back and inner wings. It has a red-based pink bill and pink legs.


photo link

The kiwi is any of five species of the non-flying family of birds called ratites native to New Zealand. Two of the species are vulnerable, one is endangered, and one is critically endangered. They can be found in different types of habitats: farmland, pine forest, scrubland, swamps, and vegetated gullies. The species is characterized by its round little body, brown fluffy feathers and its modest whiskered face. Its wings are only about 1 inch (3 cm) long and are useless, completely hidden under the feathers. Kiwis grow to about the size of a chicken and weigh between three and nine pounds.


photo link

The cassowary is a large, flightless bird distributed throughout Northern Australia, New Guinea, and surrounding islands. It is the heaviest bird in Australia and the second heaviest in the world after its cousin, the ostrich. There are three species of cassowary — the southern cassowary, the northern cassowary and the dwarf cassowary. All three cassowary species have a casque that starts to develop on top of their head at one to two years of age. Adults stand between 1.5-2 metres in height. Adults are striking with their jet black plumage and bright blue neck with touches of red.

Guam rail

photo link

The Guam rail (Gallirallus owstoni) is a flightless bird, endemic to the United States territory of Guam. The last individual in the wild of this species died in 1987 following catastrophic declines owing to predation by the introduced brown tree-snake. A captive population survives and is now being bred in captivity on Guam and at some mainland U.S. zoos. The species remains classified as Extinct in the Wild until an introduced population becomes firmly established.

It is a medium-sized rail about 28 cm in total length. The upperparts are chocolate-brown. The underparts are barred black and white. The head and back are brown. It has grey eyebrow, brown iris and a dark blackish breast with white barring. The legs and beak are dark brown.

Galapagos Flightless cormorant

photo link

The Galapagos Flightless Cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi) is one of the rarest birds in the world because it is the only cormorant that has lost the ability to fly. This cormorant is native only to the Galapagos Islands.

The unusual bird measures between 89–100 cm (35–40 in) in length and weighing 2.5–5.0 kg (5.5-11 lbs). The upper body plumage is blackish and the underparts are brown. It has elongated body, long neck, long, hooked bill, and short set-back legs with large, webbed feet.

Tasmanian nativehen

photo link

The Tasmanian nativehen (Tribonyx mortierii) is a stocky flightless bird found only in Tasmania. Although many flightless birds have a history of extinction with the arrival of humans, the Tasmanian nativehen has actually benefited from the introduction of European style agricultural practices that provide easy food for grazing. Although they cannot fly, they are good swimmers and very fast runners. They have been clocked at up to 30 miles per hour.

It stands between 43 and 51 centimetres (17 and 20 in) in length. The upper body is olive brown with a white patch on the flank. The underparts are darker with a bluish grey tinge. The bill is a greenish yellow colour. The short tail and abdomen are black.

Campbell teal

photo link

The Campbell teal (Anas nesiotis) is a small, flightless, nocturnal species of dabbling duck endemic to the Campbell Island group of New Zealand. Both sexes are sexually dimorphic in plumage and size. Females are a uniformly dark brown with a paler abdomen, while males have a green, iridescent head and back, with a chestnut coloured breast. Both sexes have dark brown eyes, prominent white eye-patch, dark-grey bill, legs and feet. The Campbell teal is listed as Endangered because it has an extremely small population.


photo link

The Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), also called owl or night parrot, is a very unusual bird found only in New Zealand. It is the world's rarest, heaviest, and the only flightless nocturnal parrot. The species is known for its beautiful mossy green plumage mottled with brown and yellow. It has very soft feathers and an owl-shaped face. It has short legs, large grey beak, wings and feet. The tail is relatively short. An adult can measure from 58 to 64 cm (23 to 25 in) in length, and weight can vary from 0.95 to 4 kg (2 to 9 lbs). The Kakapo is critically endangered with only 126 known surviving birds as of March 2014.

Inaccessible Island rail

photo link

The Inaccessible Island rail (Atlantisia rogersi) is probably the coolest bird one should ever see - cool in a sense that it lives on an island that is literally inaccessible. This species, the smallest extant flightless bird in the world, is found only on Inaccessible Island in the Tristan Archipelago. Unlike many other islands, Inaccessible Island has remained free from introduced predators, allowing this species to flourish without threats.

The species is characterized by its short black bill, red eyes and greyish legs. It has dark rusty-brown plumage on its upper body and dark grey on underparts. It has an average length of 17 cm (6.7 in) and weight of 30 g (1.1 oz).

Monday, September 7, 2015

17 Adorable Penguin Species

Do you know that there are 17 extant species of penguin. Each species unique from the others. But they share a common thing -- All of the species live in the Southern hemisphere. Majority of these adorable penguin species are found in Antarctica. While a few species are found on the coasts of Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Galapagos Islands and South America.

Adelie Penguin

photo link

The Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is the smallest and one of the most common of all Antarctic penguin species. They can be found forming colonies on islands, beaches and shores all around the Antarctic coast. On average, these medium-sized penguins measure 72.2 cm (30 in) and weigh 5.4 kg (11.02 lbs.) The species is easily recognized by the white ring around its eyes and a tail that is longer than that of other species. It also has a red beak, but the tip of it is black. Population: 2.5 million pairs.

African Penguin

photo link

The African or Blackfooted Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) mainly live and breed on islands off the coasts of Southern Africa. African penguins have a black upside down U-shape of their neck with a black chin and face patch separated from the crown by a broad white band. They have black speckles on their chest. Adults measure 62 cm (2.4 ft) in length and weigh about 3.40 kg (7.5 pounds.) The species is currently recognized as 'vulnerable' with an estimated world population of around 70,000 breeding pairs.

Chinstrap Penguin

photo link

The Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) is arguably the most beautiful of penguins. They often live on large icebergs on the open ocean in the Antarctic region. These medium-sized penguins are easily recognised by their white faces and the fine black line running under the lower part of the chin. Adults measure These medium-sized penguins measure about 2 feet tall (61 cm) and weigh about 4.5 kg (10 pounds.) Chinstrap penguins are the most common penguins with a population of about 13 million.

Emperor Penguin

photo link

The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is found on the Antarctic peninsula and southern islands. Breeds during the Antarctic winter from March to December. The species is bigger than any other living penguin, standing up to 1.1 m (27 inches) tall and weighs about 36.5 kg (80.5 pounds.) It is distinguished by its size and the orange "glow" on its cheeks. Population: 7 million pairs.

Erect-crested Penguin

photo link

The Erect-crested Penguin (Eudyptes sclateri) is a fairly known penguin species found only in the New Zealand Subantarctic region. These adorable penguins can be identified by the upright yellow feather plumes of their crests. One of the largest of the crested penguins, it stands about 50 cm (1.64 ft) tall and weighs up to 4 kg (8.8 lbs.) World Population: 170,000 breeding pairs.

Fiordland Penguin

photo link

The Fiordland Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) is the most timid of the crested penguins. The species is endemic to New Zealand. It is easily distinguished by its sulphur-yellow crest running above the eye and ending in a dropping plume. The head, throat and upperparts are black, and underparts are white. The species measures about 55 cm (1.8 ft) and weighs about 4 kg (8.8 lbs.) World Population: 3,000 breeding pairs.

Galapagos Penguin

photo link

The Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. The species is distinguished by its relatively large black bill and narrow white line around the face. Galapagos Penguins are the smallest of the South American penguins. Full grown ones measure about 50 cm (1.65 ft) and weigh about 2 kg (4.5 lbs.) World Population: less than 1,000 breeding pairs.

Gentoo Penguin

photo link

The Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua) live on many of the islands of the Antarctic region but the main colony is on the Falklands. They are characterised by a white patch around and behind the eye that joins on the crown. They have a reddish orange bill and orange feet. They are about 80 cm (31.5 in) and an average weight of 5 kg (11.01 lbs).

Humboldt Penguin

photo link

The Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is endemic to Northern Chile & Peru. Similar to Magellanic Penguins, but lacks the second dark breast band and has a wider white band around the head. The eyes are reddish brown, and the bill is slightly larger than that of Magellanic penguins. Adults average length of around 70 cm (27.5 in) in height and an average weight of 4 kg (8.8 lbs). The total world population currently stands at around 12,000 breeding pairs.

King Penguin

photo link

The King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is the second largest penguin and similar in appearance to Emperor penguin. Their population is restricted to the sub-Antarctic belt. They have orange spots near their ears and on the neck. Cheeks are dark orange. The belly is white and the throat is grey-white. Full grown average 12 - 14 kg (26.5 - 30.86 lbs), and an average length of 90 cm (35.4 in). World Population: 2,000,000 breeding pairs.

Little Penguin

photo link

The Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor), also known as Little Blue, Blue and Fairy Penguin, is the world’s smallest penguin. The species is widely distributed in Australia and in New Zealand. Upper parts are pale blue to a dark grey-blue depending upon age, season and subspecies. Average length is 43 cm (16.9 in.) and an average weight of 1.2 kg (2.65 lbs.) World Population stands at around 500,000 breeding pairs.

Macaroni Penguin

photo link

The Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus) is probably the most abundant of all penguins in terms of total numbers. The distribution of Macaroni Penguin extends from the sub-Antarctic to the Antarctic Peninsula. The species was so named because the yellow and black feathers sticking out of the side of their heads looked like the English hairstyle. This species has orange, not yellow, feather plumes. They average 70 cm (27.5 in) tall and 5.5 kg (12.12 lbs) in weight. World Population: 9,000,000 breeding pairs.

Magellanic Penguin

photo link

The Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) was named after the explorer Ferdinand Magellan who first saw the species in 1519 on his first voyage around the tip of South America. The largest of the warm weather penguins, Magellanic Penguins are only found around the Falkland Islands and South America. The head and upper parts are black apart from two broad white stripes beneath the throat; one running up behind the cheeks and above the eye to join the pinkish gape, the second running adjacent to the white underparts with which they merge above the legs. They are about 70 cm (27.5 in) tall and weigh 4.9 kg (10.8 lbs.) World Population: 1,800,000 breeding pairs.

Rockhopper Penguin

photo link

The Rockhopper Penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) are distinguished from other crested penguins by their smaller size and the decorative yellow feather tufts on their heads. It has a reddish brown bill, distinctive red eyes, and the feet and legs are pink. Adults average 52 cm (20.5 in) an average weight of about 3kg (6.61 lbs.)

World Population:
Southern: 650,000 breeding pairs
Eastern: 800,000 breeding pairs
Northern: 350,000 breeding pairs

Royal Penguin

photo link

The Royal Penguin (Eudyptes schlegeli) breeds on Macquarie Island. This species is slightly larger than the other crested penguins. Unlike other crested penguins, the Royal Penguin has orange, not yellow, feather plumes. It has a white face. black crown and it has crests which join on the forehead. Adults average 5.2 kg (11.45 lbs.)

Snares Penguin

photo link

The Snares Penguin (Eudyptes robustus) is endemic to the Snares Islands, New Zealand. The head, throat and upperparts are black, and underparts are white. It has a robust conical bill and distinctive red eyes. Adult ones average 50 cm (19.7 in) in length and weigh around 3 kg. (6.6 lbs.) World Population: 30,000 breeding pairs.

Yellow-eyed Penguin

photo link

The Yellow-eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) is endemic to New Zealand. It is considered the rarest of all penguins. Adults have a band of yellow feathers going from the bill, circling the eyes and up around the head. Adults can reach 55 cm (21.65 in) in length and 5.7 kg (12.12 lbs.) There are only an estimated 1,500 breeding pairs of yellow-eyed penguins.