Zoo Animals


Penguin — macaroni

Eudyptes chrysolophus

At the Detroit Zoo
The macaroni penguins can be seen at the Penguinarium – the first zoo facility built specifically for penguins – along with the rockhopper, gentoo and king penguins.  A unique circular pool lets the birds swim continuously, giving them the ability to swim fast enough to porpoise and “fly” through the water.  The Detroit Zoo is one of the few zoos where penguins can display this natural behavior.


The scientific name for the macaroni penguin, Eudyptes chrysolophus, describes the distinguishing features of this bird. Eudyptes means “good diver”, and chrysolophus means “with a golden crest”.  The bird has distinct yellow and black plumes extending backward from its beak.  These plumes reminded early English explorers of an 18th century man called a “macaroni” who wore flashy feathers in his hat, thus the name.


Fun Facts

  • This penguin can hold its breath for up to three minutes.