Emperor Penguins

Introduction

Emperor Penguins are one of the smaller creatures of the world, but some can still grow up to around 1 metre tall. They're are only one species of the many 17 in the penguin family. They're black and white in colour along with most other penguins, making some people call them tuxedo penguins.

Physical Features

An Emperor Penguin's back is a dark black turning into a clear white on the stomach. They also have some yellow colouring on the front of their neck. To get around they waddle side to side on two little black feet that have sharp nails, they also have a little tail to help them balance. A layer of black and white feathers surround the penguin which helps it keep that bit warmer in the winter. Penguins have 2 black small wings that are also covered in a layer of feathers.


When the chicks are born they grow light grey feathers. Penguins can also move by basically jumping on the ground at an angle to slide forward. Even though they have wings they can not in fact fly. Though with their wings they have become great swimmers easily catching food and usually getting away from their predators. Out of the 17 penguin species Emperor Penguins are the largest sometimes weighing up to 40kg.

Diet and Predators

If Emperor Penguins can't get water sometimes they'll eat the snow to try and quench their thirst. For hunger they mainly eat sea life, most of which are Fish, Krill and Squid. Though by having to go into the water to get their food they risk meeting there main predator, the seal.


The seal is an agile creature that can travel through water quickly making it hard for the penguins to get away. The other predator is seabirds, which go after young penguins because they're small enough to be picked up by the birds.

Reproduction

Its a long walk for the penguins to get from the coast to the breeding area. There's not as many females as males, so some males have to fight each other off. Within a few weeks everyone has found a mate. When they get the eggs the mother keeps it in a pouch which is just a flap of fur. After a while the mother gives the egg to the father and goes back to the sea to get food for her family.


Its a harder walk this time as the mothers have lost one third of their body weight. Winds can blow up to 100 miles an hour making it harder for both the mother that's getting food, and the father that's trying to keep the egg warm. Its around 70 miles to get there and by the time they get back they have to quickly feed the family. Especially the chicks who haven't had proper food yet.

Habitat and Interesting Facts

Emperor Penguins usually live on together on ice slops. though in the summer it gets just hot enough for these to melt. They are mainly in the Artic and Antarctica as its so cold, though they can be in a couple other places.


Even though penguins have wings they cannot in fact fly. The wings how ever do help them swim as they can dive down 500metres and breathe underwater for up to 15minutes. To keep warm they huddle in a group, changing spots every now and then. Its rough in these places so sometimes penguins sadly get left behind because they become too weak an vulnerable

References

Movie: March Of The Penguins