55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

Live Penguin Cams 

February 6, 2009

African penguin Exhibit: Penguin Lighting

It is extremely important to provide high quality lighting for penguins.  Studies have shown that day length and light levels are registered through penguin’s eyes and trigger hormones.  These hormones are related to replacement of feathers and reproduction.  We have installed more than 91 fixtures in the exhibit each containing between 1-4 lamps.   These create phases of light from dawn to mid-day bright, sunset, twilight and midnight black.  They are scheduled to change with 34 degrees latitude.  This allows for long light days in summer and short light days  in winter.  You can watch a video that describes more about the exhibit by watching the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=PIjvfJpPASY

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony,Penguin Science — Penguins @ 3:05 pm


  1. Thank you for the link to the video. Very impressive!

    Comment by Bill Hughes — February 8, 2009 @ 10:00 am

  2. I am constantly pleasantly amazed at the degree of thought used in all of CalAcademy’s exhibits. Thought was used to make the exhibits pleasurable and educational for people. But even more so, it seems, for the healthful care of the creatures. CalAcademy sets a shining example for other institutions in the world that have live creatures on exhibit! (Maybe they could give the SF Zoo some pointers…)

    Comment by Trevor Wilson — February 8, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

  3. I’ve noticed the past couple of days you have been wearing gloves when feeding the penguins. Is this a new procedure and why?

    Comment by lynn — February 16, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

  4. Lynn, The biologist that covers for me on my weekends (Brooke), has an injury to her hand. She wants to make sure to keep her wound clean and dry.

    Comment by pschaller — February 18, 2009 @ 9:16 am

  5. Thanks Pam. Hope she gets better soon. I’ve been wondering what the name of the penguin which has the patch of feathers missing on his/her back. He is a very curoius penguin and always want to see what’s behind the rocks. Also, thanks for providing the utube video. The amount of planning and thought that went into building this habitat to be as natural as possible is most impressive.

    Comment by lynn — February 18, 2009 @ 10:13 am

  6. Thanks Lynn, their health and well being are my first concern. The penguin’s name is Dunker, there are some blogs about him in the Penguin Blog Archives.

    Comment by pschaller — February 18, 2009 @ 10:50 am

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