Southern Rockhopper Penguin
Scientific Name: Eudyptes chrysocome
World Conservation Union
Status: vulnerable
Height: To 22in (55cm)
Weight: To 7.4 lbs (3.35 kg)
Location: Numerous Islands (see below)
Feathers: Black and white with a yellow plumage near the top of eyes
Beak: Orange

The Southern Rockhopper Penguin or just Rockhopper Penguin, Eudyptes chrysocome, is a species of penguin closely related to the Macaroni Penguin.


This is the smallest yellow-crested, black-and-white penguin, reaching a length of 55cm (22 in) and having an average weight of 3.35 kg (7.4 lbs). It has slate-grey upperparts and a straight, bright yellow eyebrow ending in long yellowish plumes projecting sideways behind a red eye.Also mistaked as a macaroni penguin.

A Rockhopper Penguin named Rocky lived to 29 years 4 months in captivity at Bergen Aquarium, Norway, and died on October 2003.Recorded as the oldest rockhopper penguin and possibly the oldest penguin at all in general.[1]


It breeds in colonies, from sea-level to cliff-tops, and sometimes inland. It feeds on krill, squid, octopus, fish, molluscs, plankton, cuttlefish, and crustaceans.

Distribution and habitatEdit

Rockhopper Penguins have a global population of about 3.5 million pairs. The nominate subspecies chrysocome breeds on the Falkland Islands, and on islands off Argentina and southern Chile. The subspecies moseleyi, possibly a distinct species as Northern Rockhopper Penguin, breeds on islands in Tristan da Cunha, and Amsterdam and Île Saint-Paul. The subspecies filholi breeds on the Prince Edward Islands, the Crozet Islands, the Kerguelen Islands, Heard Island, Macquarie Island, and Campbell Island, New Zealand and the Antipodes Islands.


The status of this species is vulnerable due to a fall of 24% in its population in the last thirty years.


As their name suggests, they spend their time hopping over rocks, and the explorers who discovered them were amused to see this.

The scientific name for the Rockhopper Penguin is sometimes given as Eudyptes crestatus

Rockhoppers in popular cultureEdit

  • Several of the characters in the film Surf's Up, including protagonist Cody Maverick voiced by Shia LaBeouf] are Rockhoppers.
  • Rocko, voiced by James Belushi in the Don Bluth film The Pebble and the Penguin, is a Rockhopper.
  • The cover of the Fleetwood Mac album Penguin]] features a Rockhopper. The penguin subsequently became Fleetwood Mac's mascot.
  • Rockhopper IV is the name of a spaceship in Alastair Reynolds's 2005 science fiction novel, Pushing Ice. The ship's logo is a penguin, genus unspecified.
  • The characters Ivan and Tobi from the Konami video game Sexy Parodius are actually a pair of Rockhoppers.
  • Fidgel from the Big Idea Productions series 3-2-1 Penguins is a Rockhopper.
  • Hopper is the name of a Rockhopper Penguin in the Nintendo video game series Animal Crossing.
  • Rockhopper is also the name of a pirate penguin in the MMOG Club Penguin.
  • The Rockhopper penguin is an adoptable animal in the 2006 PC game, Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania. A fictional joke version of it, the "Killer Penguin", appears as a lab accident in the game's sequel, Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals. It is depicted as able to kill any animal, including dinosaurs]].
  • Lovelace, voiced by Robin Williams in the 2006 film Happy Feet is a Rockhopper
  • In Club Penguin there is a famous penguin named Rockhopper.

External linksEdit


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