The 90 cent denominations of South African definitives issued in 1993 and 1998 depict the African penguins that nest on islands and coastal areas of southern Africa.
The African penguin, Spheniscus dermersus, or black-footed penguin (also known as the jackass penguin because of its loud braying noise) is a flightless seabird that used to nest by burrowing into guano. However, the removal of the guano for use as fertiliser has forced the penguins to nest in burrows in sand, under overhanging rocks, under bushes, or even in the open. Their diet includes sardines, maasbankers, anchovies and squid. Declining food supplies as well as predation by humans and seals and deadly oil spills have resulted in the African penguin having become an endangered species.
Although they are clumsy walkers, penguins can keep pace with a human when walking on land. They appear much more at home in the water having the ability to hold their breath for twenty minutes and dive deeper than any other bird.
The African Penguins above were photographed at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia in August 2009 during the APS Stamp Show 2009.
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