Adelie and Emperor Penguins

By Holly and Natasha

Adelie Penguins

Scientific name: Pygoscelis Adeliae


Description: Adelie penguins have a white belly and a black back, an orange beak and webbed feet. Females and males are dificuilt to tell apart. They both have a white ring surrounding their eyes.


Size: This little penguin weighs only 5kg and stands 70cm tall.


Habitat: They spend the winter offshore in the seas surrounding the Antarctic pack ice. During the spring breeding season (in October), they take to the rocky Antarctic coastline where they live in large communities called colonies. These groups can include thousands of birds.


Diet: An Adelie's main source of food is krill, fish and amphipods (like prawns). Like other penguins, Adelies are sleek and efficient swimmers. They may travel about 300 kilometres in a round-trip to procure a meal.


Breeding: Each year hundreds of thousands of breeding pairs return to the same nesting ground called a rookery.They may travel up to 100km over the ice to get there. Once on land, Adelies build nests and line them with small stones. They take turns sitting on a pair of eggs to keep them warm and safe from predators. When food is short, only one of the two chicks may survive. After about three weeks, parents are able to leave the chicks alone, though the offspring gather in groups for safety. Young penguins begin to swim on their own in about nine weeks.


Adaptation: Adelie penguins have long stiff tails. They use these to prop themselves up so that they can doze off to sleep while standing upright.


Fast Facts:

Type: Adelie Penguin (bird)

Size: 70cm

Weight: 4kg to 5.5kg

Average life span in the wild: Up to 20years

Diet: Krill ,fish and amphipods (carnivore)

Known to dive as deep as: 175m

Adelie Penguins, Cape Royds, Antarctica
Adelie Penguins of Antarctica

Emperor Penguins

Scientific name: Aptenodytes forsteri


Features: Emperor penguins have long, slightly curved bills and sleek thick feathers. Their heads are black with light patches below their eyes. On their stomach is a white circle and their backs are slate grey. They have a very small bill and have strong claws for gripping ice.


Description: This penguin is the worlds largest diving bird and one of the heaviest of all birds. Emperor penguins flock together on land and swim and dive in groups.


Size: This penguin weighs 30kg and stands 1m tall.


Habitat: Most of the emperor penguin colonies are on winter fast ice that is frozen solid and attached to the land for most of the year. They are found around the coasts of the Antarctic continent, They breed during the middle of winter during the season of 24 hour darkness and in one of the coldest and windiest places on Earth. Some emperor penguins never set foot on land.


Diet: This penguin dives underwater for up to 18 minutes. Some food they eat is fish, antarctic krill and antarctic silver fish.They are near the top of the Southern Oceans food chain. The emporor penguins prey are small as it makes it easier to eat.


Breeding: The eggs are laid in winter (May and June). By the time the chicks hatch, it is when there is plenty of food. The female lays just one egg as the environment is too difficult to raise more than one chick at a time. As soon as the female lays the egg, she passes it to the male who incubates it. The female goes out to see to spend winter feeding so that when she returns she can feed her hungry chick.


Adaptation: To protect them from the cold they have a thick layer of fat under their skin, a dense layer of woolly fluffy feathers and a layer of waterproof outer feathers. Small flippers and a small bill. Emperor penguins stand, which leaves just a small part of the body in contact with the icy ground. They have special nostrils so they don't loose warmth when they breath out. They have a circulation system that recycles body heat.


Fast Facts:

Type: Emperor Penguin (Bird)

Size: 115 cm

Weight: Up to 40 kg

Average life span in the wild: 15 to 20 years

Diet: fish (Carnivore)

Group name: Colony

Emperor penguins - The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth - BBC
Cool Cute Chicks! - Amazing Animal Babies: Emperor Penguin Chicks (Ep 5) - Earth Unplugged