Fascinating Emperor Penguins

Nicole L., Staff Writer

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Emperor Penguins are one of the six penguin species that live in Antarctica. They are the tallest, heaviest, and most devoted penguin parents that have ever existed on this Earth. Emperor Penguins trek for miles to reach the sea to get fish, krill, and squid, just to name a few. Some penguins will even perish on this journey, just trying to acquire food for their chick. Read more to find more about these amazing birds.

The Breeding Process

Emperor Penguins undergo the most perilous breeding process of all penguin. They breed during the Antarctic winter, fighting the cold snowstorms and other adult penguins whose chick perished during this process. First, the female lays the egg. The female will then embark on a journey to sea to find food while the male stays with the chick to protect it from the harsh winter. This stays the same for a few months. When the female comes back, she will take the male’s place and he will go to sea to for food. By the time the male comes back, the chick will be old enough to be with other chicks in a crèche, the French term for taking care of another’s offspring. The parents will leave and return on repeat to hunt for food, but will eventually leave their chick and force them to learn how to survive on the ice. The chicks will grow into adult penguins and start the circle of life all over again.

Plumage

When the chicks are younger, they have fluffy gray down feathers, which allow them to keep warm during the -80 degrees Fahrenheit winter. The adult penguins have waterproof feathers to be able to swim and hunt for food. The feathers also serve as camouflage when diving underwater, so when predators look down in the water, they won’t see the penguins.

 

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