Emperor Penguin

Emperor Penguin Facts
Size 3.6-4.2 ft (110-130 cm)
Speed Up to 9 mph (15 km/h) (in water); up to 2 mph (3 km/h) (on shore)
Weight Up to 100 lb (45 kg)
Lifespan 15-50 years
Food Fish, krill, jellyfish
Predators Southern giant petrels, leopard seals, orcas
Habitat Antarctic
Order Penguins
Family Penguins
Scientific name Aptenodytes forsteri
Characteristics The world’s largest penguin species

From all 18 penguin species the emperor penguin is by far the largest and heaviest.

Tough Animals

Needless to say that it might be rather unpleasant to breed on pack ice, particularly because emperor penguins do not even build nests (how could they anyway, as there are no plants, only ice).

Despite this they prefer to breed in winter at temperatures around - 40 degrees Fahrenheit (- 40 degrees Celsius) and facing icy winds reaching speeds of up to 124 mph (200 km/h).

Emperor Penguin Emperor Penguin - Photo: Roger Clark ARPS/Shutterstock

Emperor Penguins Keep Each Other Warm

The emperor penguins have an ingenious solution to protect themselves against the icy cold. They permanently keep moving within their colony.

They form a large circle which is warm and cozy in the center. The penguins in the outer area of the circle slowly wander from the windy to the windless side and towards the center.

Thus, every penguin can enjoy to stand in the warm center of the circle now and then.

Olympic Gold

The emperor penguin is the deep diving world champion. In the category “seabirds” it holds the record of 1.751 ft (534 m).

Sledding Fun

As emperor penguins are rather bad walkers, they often sled about on their stomach and use their legs to gain speed.

Emperor Penguin Emperor Penguin - Photo: sirtravelalot/Shutterstock

How Penguin Babies Come Into the World

Emperor penguins are very caring and have worked out a clever plan to safely bring their babies into the world together. After the penguin mum has laid the egg, the father takes over.

With its little feet the male penguin carefully rolls the egg into its brood pouch and stays in one place almost all of the time for two months.

During this time it cannot hunt for food and lives off its own fat reserves. The female penguin spends the time near the water to charge its own “batteries” with fresh fish.

As soon as the little penguin has hatched, its mum returns and feeds the young with the half-digested fish from its stomach.

By this time, the male penguin has lost about half of its weight und hurries to the water to get some food as well.

Emperor Penguin Emperor Penguin - Photo: TravelMediaProductions/Shutterstock

John! Suzie? Peter? Steve? Sheilaaaaa!

When the female penguins return to the colony after two months of fishing, they will meet thousands of males there. But which one is their partner?

They find their spouse by uttering trumpet-like sounds. They consist of several frequencies which are unique to each emperor penguin.

Emperor Penguin Emperor Penguin - Photo: TravelMediaProductions/Shutterstock

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