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.
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. African, Humboldt, and Magellanic penguins all live in temperate climates. The African penguin lives in South Africa, the Humboldt penguin lives in coastal Peru and Chile while the Magellanic penguin lives in coastal Chile, Argentina, and the Falkland Islands. Humboldt and Magellanic penguins are partially sympatric, since their ranges overlap in southern Chile. The Galápagos penguin is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, making it the most northerly of all penguin species.