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Royal Penguins



Royal Penguins
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.52

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    gentoo, human-caused, fledge, discard, flocks, southernmost, sizeable, favor, thus, rockhopper, standard, mysterious, population, potential, tops, neglect
     content words:    Macquarie Island, International Union, Natural Resources


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Royal Penguins
By Vickie Chao
  

1     At a first glance, the royal and the macaroni penguins are like twins. They both stand about 28 inches tall. They both have reddish-brown eyes, orange beaks, and pink webbed feet. They both wear the standard penguin uniform -- a black and white feathery tuxedo. And they both have crests or long streaks of feathers in yellow, orange, and black above their eyes and on the tops of their heads. The only apparent difference between these two flightless birds is the color of their chins. Royal penguins' chins are white or pale gray. Macaroni penguins' chins are black.
 
2     Because the two look so much alike, scientists used to consider them the same species. Thus, they classified the royal penguin a subspecies of the macaroni penguin. In recent years, however, most scientists have changed their minds. They decided that there are enough differences between the royal and the macaroni penguins that they are really two separate species.
 
3     Royal penguins are picky breeders. Of all the places on Earth, they only like a small rocky island lying halfway between Australia and Antarctica. That island, marking the southernmost point of Australia's territory, is called Macquarie Island. Besides the royal penguin, the king, the gentoo, and the rockhopper penguins also favor Macquarie Island as their breeding ground.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
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