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Little Penguin

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Little Penguin
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Sphenisciformes
Family:Spheniscidae
Genus:Eudyptula[?]
Species:minor
Binomial name
Eudyptula minor
Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) are more commonly known as Fairy Penguins due to their small size. They are the smallest species of penguin and the only one found nesting on mainland Australia, where colonies can be found around Australia's southern coastline, and in Tasmania. A subspecies lives in New Zealand.

Typically growing to 40 centimetres tall and weighing about a kilogram, they live year-round in large colonies, with each individual breeding pair forming a burrow in which to raise their chicks (of which two are born at a time). They feed by hunting fish, squid, and other small sea animals, for which they travel and dive quite extensively.

Whilst not endangered as a whole, colonies in areas with significant human activity are under some threat from pollution and feral animals.

Little Penguins typically return to their colonies to feed their chicks at dusk; the birds will tend to come ashore in small groups to provide some defense against predators which might pick off individuals one by one. At Phillip Island[?], south-east of Melbourne, a viewing area has been set up to allow tourists to view the nightly "penguin parade". Lights have been erected to allow visitors to see and photograph the birds interacting in their colony, which they do with a total lack of interest in their spectators. The birds, which most tourists find irresistibly cute, are Victoria's most popular tourist attraction.

The penguin that bit Linus Torvalds whilst on holiday in Australia, thus leading to the selection of Tux as the Linux logo, was a little penguin.



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