Royal Penguins in the Tide



Phylogeny of AvesThis tree includes the different species of birds and their tree of evolution. It is believed that the birds share a common ancestor with the reptiles and their lineage can also be traced back to the dinosaurs.  The class of aves is charaterized by feathers and a beak with no teeth as well as laying hard shelled eggs.  They also have four chambered hearts like mammals.  The majority of birds have the ability of flight but some such are penguins are more adapted for swimming in the water.  The Eudyptes schlegeli belongs in the penguin group of this phylogenic tree. The closest relatives of the penguin are the Loon and the Albatross. Other examples of birds on this phylogeny are ducks, such as the Mallard and Wood Duck, and the Owls, such as the Barred Owl as well as the Rainbow Lorikeet which is part of the parrots.


Phylogeny of Penguin Species

This phylogeny shows the genetic tree of all the different penguin species.  A small genus is the Eudyputula which only contains the Eudyputula minor or Little Blue Penguin. They are most similar to the extinct ancestors of modern penguins, and were the first to break off in the phylogenic tree unlong with its closest relatives, the Sphenicus or “Tuxedo Penguins”. This name comes from the black band of feathers on all of their chests resemble a bowtie.  Examples of this genus of penguin are the Humboldt, Magellanic and Galapagos Penguins.  Pygoscelis are the stiff tailed penguins and are more closely related to the Eudyptes schlegeli. This genus of penguin prefers colder environments than their other penguin relatives. Examples of this genus of penguin are the Adelie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins.  Another genus of penguin is the Aptenodytes which include the King and Emporer Penguins which are most closely realted to the Pygoscelis genus.  They are characterized by being the largest in size of all the genus of penguins, as well as their orange pacthes of feathers on their necks.  The Eudyptes schlegeli belong to the third genus: Eudyptes, or crested penguins, which are characterized by their yellow hair. The most closely related penguin to the Royal Penguin is the Eudyptes chrysolophus or better known as the famous Macaroni Penguin.  Another small genus is the Megadyptes which only contains the Yellow Eyed Penguin and is most closely related to the Eudyptes.

Next Page:  Interesting Facts

Return Home