Macaroni penguin

(Eudyptes chrysolophus)

At the Detroit Zoo
The macaroni penguins can be seen at the Polk Penguin Conservation Center – the largest penguin facility in the world – along with the rockhopper, gentoo, king and chinstrap 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 penguins, Eudyptes chrysolophus, describes the distinguishing features of the birds. Eudyptes means “good diver”, and chrysolophus means “with a golden crest”. Macaroni penguins have distinct yellow and black plumes extending backward from their beaks.

Polk Penguin Conservation Center

Fun Facts

  • The macaroni's plumes reminded early English explorers of an 18th century man called a "macaroni" who wore flashy feathers in his hat, thus the name.

  • As a whole, macaroni penguins may eat as much as four million tons of krill annually.