Do Penguins Have Eyebrows?

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Some penguins are known for their formal attire, wearing only their coat that resembles a tux and white shirt, while other penguins have yellow head adornments that some call eyebrows. These eyebrows, or crests, are common to several varieties of penguins and can serve a practical purpose.

Rockhopper Penguin

Rockhopper penguins are one of the most well-known penguins with eyebrows. They can be distinguished from other penguins with similar features by their unique way of moving and their habitat. They hop over rocks, which makes them easy to distinguish from other penguins who only waddle or slide along the ice and snow where they live. Because rockhoppers can hop over rocks, they can live in more extreme environments, like the Rocky Antarctic Islands.

Macaroni Penguin

Macaroni penguins, also known as Royal penguins, do not actually have eyebrows. Although they to have plumes that are similar to the Rockhopper penguin's, their plumes are all located behind the eyes. They are also unique among crested penguins because their plumes are orange, not yellow. Macaroni penguins are not named after the food that shares their name. In this case, the word macaroni means fashionable and they are so-called because of their yellow-orange plumes.

Crested Penguin

The crested penguin, also known as the Fiorldand crested penguin, lives in dense tropical rainforest along the coast of Fiordland. The crested penguin is a medium-sized penguin with bright yellow eyebrows that is native to New Zealand. It is one of the most well-known penguins sporting the yellow-eyebrow look.

The Purpose of Penguin Eyebrows

The eyebrows of a penguin allow it to be distinguished from other birds of its kind. They are especially useful in the water when many defining characteristics might not be as easily viewable as bright yellow or orange plumes. The rockhopper penguin also uses their eyebrows to attract a mate, shaking their head from side to side, causing the crests to whirl in a way that attracts the opposite sex.

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Based in Lexington, Ky., Christina Root has worked as a blogger, writer and freelance consultant since 2009. As a mother, animal lover, natural alternative medicine enthusiast and a student of all things, she loves learning and sharing with others.