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December 5, 2008

African penguin Health: Mouth Examination

This is Pete, he is recognized by an Orange band on his right wing and a Yellow band on his left.  He was raised for a few weeks by the aquarium staff and is easy to handle and work with.  This is an example of being able to examine the inside of his mouth.  A very light touch is required to the beak.  While his mouth his open we can determine health, as his skin should be pink.  In addition, it is a picture of the hooks inside of the mouth.  African penguins have hooks made of keratin located on the tongue and on the roof of the mouth.  These are bent towards the back of the throat to aid the penguin in holding fish while hunting.  This allows them to catch and swallow the fish without losing them.-Pamela Schaller

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony,Penguin Science — Penguins @ 9:07 am


  1. Are these captive penguins allow to incubate and raise their young just like in the wild?

    Comment by kelly — December 5, 2008 @ 11:15 am

  2. Pam,
    Thank you for your blogs. I have always loved penguins and find all the information quit interesting. It’s also interesting to watch the penguins during feeding and at other times. It is evident how much you love them by the way you interact with them. I only wish that we could hear what you are saying when you are talking to the visitor to the Academy. Living on the east coast with no plans to visit the west coast, it would be fun to hear you and the sounds the penguins make. Thanks for all you do for these wonderful penguins. Keep the blogs coming.

    Comment by lynn — December 5, 2008 @ 3:14 pm

  3. The adult penguins do incubate their own eggs and raise their own chicks. We do step in and help out in cases of medical or behavioral need.

    Comment by pschaller — December 6, 2008 @ 1:46 pm

  4. In these pictures of the young penguins, why do they have bands on both wings? I have learned by watching/listening to the feeds (on my smartphone) that males are banded on the right wing and females are banded on the left.

    Comment by Lex chan — August 8, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

  5. Hi Lex, This was the intial way our juvenlie penguins were banded. It was ensure that if a wingband came off that we could still ID the penguin.-Pamela Schaller

    Comment by Penguins — August 9, 2011 @ 10:34 am

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