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The Little Penguin, (Eudyptula minor) or Blue Penguin, or previously the Fairy Penguin is the smallest penguin of the 17 species world wide. It is a native of southern Australia especially in Victoria and South Australia, and also New Zealand. These were photographed in South Australia.
Canon 500D, Tamron zoom lens.
(Featured in Live and Let Live & others.)
Like all penguins, the little penguin’s wings have developed into flippers used for swimming. The Little Penguin typically grows to between 30 and 33 cm (12 to 13 inches) tall and usually weighs about 1.5 kilogram on average (3.3 pounds). The head and upperparts are blue in colour, with slate-grey ear coverts fading to white underneath, from the chin to the belly. The flippers are blue. The dark grey-black beak is 3–4 cm long, the irises pale silvery- or bluish-grey or hazel, and the feet pink above with black soles and webbing. An immature individual will have a shorter bill and lighter upperparts.
Like most seabirds, they have a long lifespan. The average for the species is 6.5 years, but flipper ringing experiments show in very exceptional cases up to 25 years in captivity.
Populations of Little Blue Penguins are seriously reducing in many areas.