Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Gentoo Penguin

The Gentoo Penguin, Pygoscelis papua, is easily recognized by the wide white stripe extending like a bonnet across the top of its head. Chicks have grey backs with white fronts. Adult Gentoos reach a height of 51 to 90 cm (20–36 in), making them the largest penguins outside of the two giant species, the Emperor Penguin and the King Penguin.

The application of Gentoo to the penguin is unclear, according to the OED, which reports that Gentoo was an Anglo-Indian term, used as early as 1638 to distinguish Hindus in India from Muslims, the English term originating in Portuguese gentio (compare "gentile"); in the twentieth century the term came to be regarded as derogatory.