The Gentoo Penguin 50p Coin

Tuesday, 20 June 2017  |  Gareth

The Gentoo Penguin is one of about three penguins within three types in the genus Pygosceli found on the Falkland Islands and around the Antarctic. They are recognisable by a white strip throughout the top of its head and an intense orange bill. It also has among the largest tails among all penguin species.

The penguin is renowned for its waddle and its sweeping tail that moves side to side when it strolls. Its scientist name in fact implies rump-tailed! Gentoo penguins grow quite big and are really the third biggest species and the males reach a height of 90cm and weight of about 8.5 kg. They sustain themselves primarily on a diet of krill, shellfishes and fish which they catch with ease due to their top swimming speed of 22mph.

It is approximated that the present population of the Gentoo is around 300,000 breeding pairs so they are not classified as threatened, however some populations have actually fallen by around two thirds over the last 25 years. Predators of the Gentoo consist of Sea Lions, Leopard Seal and Killer Whales. They likewise have their eggs stolen by hungry sea birds.

The reverse features an adult Gentoo Penguin snuggled up with its 2 chicks. Sitting on a rocky mountain outcrop, where they prefer to nest, the cute trio really contour up a heart-warming image. The obverse features a new & unique effigy style of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

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