Spheniscus live between 10 to 27 years in the wild. Extinct members of the genus most likely fell within those natural lifespans (Crawford et al., 2001; Stefoff, 2005).
Members of the genus Spheniscus are coastal-dwelling predators and prey on small shoaling fish, such as anchovies (Engraulis capensis) and sardines (Sardinops sagax). Various crustaceans and cephalopods are also known to regularly fall prey to the banded penguin (Cunningham et al., 2008).
Natural predators of the genus Spheniscus include seals, feral cats, genets, leopards, mongooses and toothed whales. Eggs and chicks are also preyed upon by gulls and ibises. They also must compete with breeding space with many pinniped (e.g., seals) species (Crawford, et al., 2001; Randall and Randall, 1990; Stefoff, 2005).
- Crawford, R., J. David, L. Shannon, J. Kemper, N. Klages, J. Roux, L. Underhill, V. Ward, A. Williams, A. Wolfaardt. 2001. African penguins as predators and prey-coping (or not) with change. African Journal of Marine Science, 23: 435-447.
- Cunningham, G., V. Strauss, P. Ryan. 2008. African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) can detect dimethyl sulphide, a prey-related odour. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 221: 3123-3127.
- Randall, R., B. Randall. 1990. Cetaceans as predators of jackass penguins Spheniscus demersus: deductions based on behaviour. Marine Ornithology, 18: 9-12.
- Stefoff, R. (2005). Penguins. 99 White Planes Road Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
- Wilson, R. P., & Wilson, M. P. (1990). Foraging ecology of breeding Spheniscus penguins. Penguin biology. Academic Press, San Diego, 181-206.
- Wilson, R., G. La Cock, M. Wilson, F. Mollagee. 1985. Differential digestion of fish and squid in jackass penguins Spheniscus demersus. Ornis Scandinavica, 16: 77-79.
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