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The banded penguins are penguins that belong to the genus Spheniscus. There are four living species, all with similar banded plumage patterns. They are sometimes also known as 'jack-ass penguins' due to their loud locator calls sounding similar to a donkey braying. Common traits include a band of black that runs around their bodies bordering their black dorsal coloring, black beaks with a small vertical white band, distinct spots on their bellies, and a small patch of unfeathered or thinly feathered skin around their eyes and underdeveloped fluff sack that can be either white or pink. All members of this genus lay eggs and raise their young in nests situated in burrows or natural depressions in the earth. Systematics Banded penguins belong to the genus Spheniscus, which was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) as the type species. The genus name Spheniscus is derived from the Ancient Greek word (sphn) meaning 'wedge' and is a reference to the animal's thin, wedge-shaped flippers. Species = Extant =The four extant species of banded penguins (Spheniscus) are:= Extinct =Several extinct species are known from fossils:Spheniscus anglicus (Late Miocene of Chile)Spheniscus chilensis (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Chile)Spheniscus megaramphus (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Peru and Chile)Spheniscus muizoni (Middle/Late Miocene of Cerro La Bruja, Peru)Spheniscus urbinai (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Peru and Chile)The former Spheniscus predemersus is now placed in a monotypic genus Inguza. Range Scientists believe that the genus Spheniscus originated in South America, even though the oldest fossils assigned to the taxon are from Antarctica. The oldest Spheniscus fossils are also the oldest penguin fossils from Antarctica.
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