Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology
Orange-breasted penguin

Depiction of the orange-breasted penguin (© Tim Morris, Used with Permission)

Category Penguin
Proposed scientific names
Other names
Country reported New Zealand
First reported 1954[1]
Prominent investigators • Herries Beattie

The orange-breasted penguin was a cryptid penguin reported from the Southland Region of New Zealand's South Island, around Dusky Sound and Solander Island. According to a Maori informant of ethnologist and historian Herries Beattie (1881 – 1972), these penguins were very rare, inhabiting only a single cave on Dusky Sound, which they rarely left, although he had once come across a dead specimen among some rocks on the coast of Solander Island. He described them as "among the biggest size of penguins I know," with breasts of a strikingly deep orange colour, and crests. Although he refused to reveal the location of the cave, Beattie's informant claimed that four such penguins had once been killed and sent to George Frederick Jaquiery (1881 – 1937) of the Southland Museum, but had not been kept by the museum.[1]

Several penguin species are found in New Zealand waters, many of which are crested penguins (Eudyptes spp.). Beattie's informant maintained that orange-breasted penguins were "a species by themselves," and were not the royal penguin (Eudyptes schlegeli). Large emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) and king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are known to occasionally wander north to New Zealand from Antarctica and the islands of the Southern Ocean, although neither species is crested.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Beattie, Herries (1954) Our Southernmost Maoris