Fun Fact: Johann Reinhold Forster came across little blue penguins when he accompanied Captain James Cook on the latter’s voyage around the world. Forester was one of the first naturalists to describe penguins, and even has a species named in his honor – the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri).
Predation is not the only threat for this species. Ever-increasing ocean pollution has also started taking its toll on their population, with plastics and oil spills being the main culprits. Additionally, seasonal changes in natural food supply can also affect their population, which isn’t really surprising considering that they need to eat about 25 percent of their body weight every day.
Also coming to their rescue is the counter-shading camouflage technique. In species resorting to this technique, the upper surface is dark, while the underside is light-colored, mostly white. When little penguins are in the water and birds of prey see them from above, their dark coloration helps them blend with the sea, and when sea mammals and large fish see them from below, their light coloration helps them blend with the sky. It doesn’t just help them avoid predators, but also adds stealth to their arsenal, as they can close in on their prey without getting noticed.