Emperor Penguin Facts
The largest of all penguins is known as the Emperor Penguin.
An Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) in
Antarctica. Author Glenn Grant, National Science Foundation.
Emperor Penguin, the warriors of nature are considered the most
beautiful of all penguins.
The males and females are hard to distinguish as they are very similar is physical size.
Adult Emperor Penguins can weigh from 50 to 100 pounds and be up to 48 inches tall. They back parts of the Emperor
Penguins are black with a white front. They also feature bright splashes of yellow and orange on their breast
region and their ears.
Emperor Penguin Habitat
The only place you will find the Emperor Penguin is in Antarctica. A great deal of research has been conducted
to find out how they are able to survive in such harsh conditions. What we have found out is that they are able to
manipulate their bodies in order to adapt to the environment. They can be completely functional at levels with low
oxygen, they have solid bones, they can slow down their metabolism when necessary, and even shut down all
non-essential bodily functions for a period of time.
Emperor Penguin Behavior
Emperor Penguins form extremely large colonies and that can make it hard to keep track of each other. They
use a variety of unique vocal sounds in order to contact each other. There is still plenty we don’t understand
about such forms of communication but we do know they are very valuable among the Emperor Penguins.
It is believed the vocalize on different frequencies which allows mates to hear each other as well as young and
parents to communicate easily with each other.
Many efforts of coordinated dives to reach food and then back to the surface have been observed and noted by
Emperor Penguins take very good care of their young, and cater to their needs. Both males and females tend to
help others in the colony to care for the young as well.
Emperor Penguin Diet
Due to the large size of the Emperor Penguins, they consume more food than the other species. Their diet
consists of all sizes of fish, krill, squid, and crustaceans.
Emperor Penguins can dive much further than any other penguin. They have been known to submerge themselves more
than 1,755 feet when necessary to find food, although more regular dives reach more 800 feet. They can remain
under water for almost 18 minutes which is also longer than any other type of penguin.
Emperor Penguin Reproduction
The reproduction timing for the Emperor Penguin is different from any other species. They are the only ones that
will do so during the peak of the winter in the Antarctic. They are known to migrate more than 70 miles to reach
the breeding grounds. There they will find thousands of other penguins and the mating process will begin. They will
find a mate and remain faithful to it for one year. Even among such a large group of penguins they will call out
until they find their mate.
Once the female has laid an egg, the male is left to care for it. The transfer process from the female to the
male has to be very fast and accurate or the egg will be exposed to the bitter cold and destroyed. The female will
leave the male and go looking for food. She will be gone for two full months.
During this period of time, the males will huddle together in an effort to keep themselves warm. They won’t eat
at all during that period of time. Their overall objective is to keep those eggs safe and warm. The females
generally return during the first week of life and then will then assume the caregiver role.
Emperor Penguin Conservation
In the wild, the average life span for an Emperor Penguin is 20 years. There aren’t any concerns at this time
about its ability to survive. In fact, it is listed as the species of penguins least likely to end up endangered or