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Photo of the Day: Gentoo Penguin

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Gentoo penguins are a distinctive species of penguins that are quite well known for their pebble-giving behavior when courting. It’s definitely a fascinating occurrence to observe as males will collect pebbles in their beaks and give them to the female in exchange for favors.  They are like a social butterfly and hardly act aggressive towards one another or another penguin.

They have black and white feathers with white eye patches and a reddish-orange bill. Their diet comprises of fish, krill, squid, and crustaceans. It is worth noting that they are also the world’s fastest underwater bird where they can reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour.

Unlike other birds, penguins undergo an annual molting where they lose and replace all of their feathers at once. When this happens to the gentoo penguins, they lose about 40-55 percent of their body mass. It can last anywhere from 20-40 days depending on where they are and this occurs between December and March.

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