Temperate Oceans Animals

Emperor Penguin
Emperor Penguin
Class: Aves: Birds Diet: Fish
Order: Sphenisciformes: Penguins
Size: 1.2 m (4 ft) tall
Family: Spheniscidae: Penguins Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Aptenodytes forsteri Habitat: ocean and pack ice
Range: Southern oceans

Size of Emperor PenguinEmperor penguins, largest of the penguin family, endure the worst breeding conditions of any bird. These penguins never actually come to land but gather in huge colonies on the pack ice of the antarctic seas. After pairing, the female lays her 1 egg at the beginning of winter and at once returns to the sea. Her partner incubates the egg on his feet, where it is protected by a flap of skin and feathers. All the males in the colony huddle together for warmth and protection during their vigil in the bitterly cold, totally dark antarctic winter. As the male cannot leave the egg, he fasts during the 64-day incubation period. When the chick is born, he feeds it from secretions in his crop, and the chick remains protected on his feet. By this time the ice is breaking up, and the female returns to take over while the male recovers and feeds. Both parents then care for their chick.

Range of Emperor Penguin
PreviousHomeNext
Disclaimer
Copyright © 2003 Missouri Botanical Garden
MBGnet Home