Emperor Penguins

By Rebekah


The Emperor Penguins are the tallest and heaviest of all penguins. Females and males are similar in plumage size reaching 122cm tall and from 22-45kg in weight. They have a thick layer of fat and feathers. Emperor Penguins are black and white with a yellow ring around their neck, but in summer their black feathers will fade to a light brown which is in the months November to February.


As we all know, penguins feed at the sea. Their main food source revolves around fish, squid and krill. Although penguins can eat nearly anything as they are near the top of the food chain, they tend to eat smaller things they can find. Their average dive can last within 3-6 minutes at 20km deep. To survive they have to gain at least 2-3kg per day.


The only place you will find an Emperor Penguins is in the Southern Hemisphere on the South Pole ( Antarctica ) all year round. They are able to manipulate their body in order to adapt the environment, so they can survive in the cold harsh winter. On the ice, they walk single file, not in groups, due to any enemies that may lurk. Most Emperor Penguins live on ice shelves just to keep safe.


Because Emperor Penguins are at the top of the food chain, they don't have many enemies. But unfortunately they do have some. Although they are effective hunters 2 in 5 will get killed at sea where only 1 in 5 will get killed on land. Most baby penguins will get killed by birds and seals as they are easy targets, but adults on the other hand will get killed by Seals, Killer Whales, the Skua, The Southern Giant Petrel and several types of sharks.


Emperor Penguins are adapted to the cold. They have several layers of waterproof and windproof coats ( feathers ) and a thick layer of fat. Most of their layers will overlap each other, for the skin to act like installation. Their fat / blubber can be stored and used for energy in the long run. Because of being in the cold, they have unique behavior adaptions which enables them to survive the harsh winds. If they can not adapt the cold in time they will die.

Defence / offence

To protect themselves, the Emperor Penguins, when searching for food will tend to go in large groups. They will usually push and shove each other untill one is brave enough to take the first plunge. When they are in the water they face many preditors so to get away from them they usually swim at the speed of 22 miles per hour using sharp zigzaging turns to out mover the larger animal. On ice, they will usually slid on their stomachs.


Emperor Penguins always make loud noises. They tend to gather in groups 1 for protection and 2 for the cold. They can perform all virtual functions such as sleeping ect. Penguins can float in water very easily due to the amount of fat on their body. That also makes them swim faster. Walking on land is hard for most penguins, so they waddle, but to get away fast they will slid on their stomachs. They prefere to feed in groups and are very social birds.

Breeding / lifestyle

Emperor Penguins are the only anuimal that breeds during the Antarctic winter. They have unique social featurs such as sharing parental duties (very closely). Their breeding season starts in Autumn (April) when the ice is thick enough to support thousands of Penguins. The males keep the single egg on their feet warm and toasty ( about 38 degrees celcius) When the males has the egg the female is usually out searching for food in the sea for itself and the baby. When the chick is old enough, the parent can return to the colony with their chick, or the parent can leave the colony and their chick to get some distance.