Extant members of the genus Spheniscus are noisy. African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) are also known by the common name "jackass penguins" because of the loud donkey-like sounds that they produce. The noise is for the distinct purpose of communication, and research has shown that there are three types of calls, the bray, the yell, and the haw. Each call is intended to communicate or serve a specific social purpose, to make contact, defend territory or attract mates, respectively. Spheniscus is a very social genus (Frost, et al., 2009; Thumser & Ficken, 1998).
- Frost, P., W. Siegfried, A. Burger. (2009). Behavioural adaptations of the jackass penguin, Spheniscus demersus to a hot, arid environment. Journal of Zoology, 179: 165-187.
- Thumser, N., M. Ficken. (1998). A Comparison of the Vocal Repertoires of Captive Spheniscus Penguins. Marine Ornithology, 26: 41-48.
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