Penguins' Rock CAM is made possible in part
a generous contribution from the AT&T Foundation.

Animal Keeper

Animal Keeper Updates

Get a peek behind the scenes of the Aquarium’s Husbandry department. Read their weekly animal updates and get an insider’s look at caring for over 10,000 animals and plants.



Penguin merchandise at the online gift shop

Fun, cute and cool penguin plush animals, jewelry, books, toys and gifts!


Gentoo Penguin

Pygoscelis papua

ON EXHIBIT:  In the Penguins' Rock exhibit in Ocean Journey.

Gentoo penguin

Gentoos are black with a white belly. Their feet and bill are yellow and their eyes are brown. Their head is black with white triangular patches that meet over their eyes. They have a more prominent tail than other penguins. The males tend to be larger then the females but gender is very difficult to distinguish.  Their life span in the wild is estimated to be 15-20 years.  They are the third largest of all the penguin species and are known to be the most curious. 

In the water, sea lions, leopard seals, and orca are all predators of the gentoo. On land there are no predators of full grown gentoos. Skuas can steal their eggs and other seabirds will snatch chicks. The gentoo penguin is considered threatened in the wild as are all penguin species.


Penguin ID Bracelets

Cool Penguin Facts & FAQ's

Penguin Fun for Kids

Making a Penguin Commercial

Watch more penguin videos


800 x 600 pixels
1024 x 768 pixels

FAQ: Why aren’t the lights on in the penguin exhibit all the time?

Near the South Pole, the length of daylight throughout the year is much different than we experience here. To ensure our gentoo and macaroni penguins stay in tune with their life cycle, our exhibit lights are controlled to replicate the photo-period in the sub-Antarctic. The only difference is we have switched them to a Northern Hemispheric light cycle so their seasons  match ours.

We want everyone to see our gentoo and macaroni penguins, so here’s a lighting schedule for the shorter hours of artificial daylight at Penguins’ Rock to help you time your visit with their “time in the sun.”

Penguins' Rock presented by:

Sunbelt Bakery

Fan Photo

Gentoo and staff
Photo by TN Aquarium staff

About This Animal

SIZE  30 -35 inches tall. 11 - 23 lbs.

RANGE  Antarctic Peninsula and sub-Antarctic islands.

HABITAT Rocky and uninhabited shores with preferred nesting sites on low level or gently sloping coastal plains.

DIET Crustaceans (mostly krill), Rock Cod, Lantern fish and squid.

Featured Videos