Robert Harding

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979-4423 - Adult Southern Rockhopper Penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome) in the Falkland Islands. This is the smallest yellow-crested, black-and-white penguin in the genus Eudyptes. It reaches a length of 45-58 cm (18-23 in) and typically weighs 2-3.4 kg (4.4-7.5 lb), although there are records of exceptionally large rockhoppers weighing 5 kg (11 lbs). Their common name refers to the fact that unlike many other penguins which negotiate obstacles by sliding on their bellies or by awkward climbing using their flipper-like wings as aid, Rockhoppers will try to jump over boulders and across cracks. This behavior is by no means unique to this species however - at least the other "crested" penguins of the genus Eudyptes hop around rocks too. Southern Rockhopper Penguins have a global population of roughly 1 million pairs, perhaps a bit more. About two-thirds of the global population belongs to E. c. chrysocome which breeds on the Falkland Islands and on islands off Argentina and southern Chile. The Southern Rockhopper Penguin is classified as Vulnerable species by the IUCN.
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