Smallest penguin species
Eudyptula minor, Eudyptula minor, Little blue penguin
40 centimetre(s)
Australia ()
The world's smallest species of penguin is the little blue or fairy penguin Eudyptula minor, native to southern Australia and New Zealand. It stands no taller than 40 cm, weighs no more than 1 kg, and has an average lifespan of only six years. Several subspecies have been described, but there is no consensus as to how many of them are valid. The most controversial subspecies is the white-flippered penguin, which some believe to be a full species in its own right, and others dismiss as merely a colour morph (non-taxonomic variety) of the normal little blue penguin. Also controversial are reports of possible vagrant specimens of the little blue penguin in certain coastal regions of southern Chile, South America, and also southern Africa (including Namibia) – if true, these would greatly extend this species' known distribution range.