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Emperor Penguin

About Emperor Penguin

This large penguin has a black head and back, with a white breast and underside of the wing. The Emperor penguin also has an orange and yellow patch on each side of neck, turning to a faded yellow on the throat. They have black feet and a bill with black with pink or lilac on lower mandible; their eyes are usually dark brown.

Breeding: They breed in the winter, usually on sea ice, where they do not build a nest. Male incubates the egg on his feet under a fold of skin until it hatches. This may take as long as 60-66 days. The female then comes back from sea and takes over the chick, feeding it on regurgitated fish while the male goes out to sea to eat.

The Emperor penguin is the biggest of the seabirds. It has thick fat layers and dense plumage, this helps to conserve heat in the cold Antarctic winter, helping it to survive the coldest climate on our Earth.

Emperor penguins catch krill swimming beneath the ice, but they like fish more. With their flipper-like wings, they are able to chase fish and catch them one by one. They can dive down to depths of 850 ft. (250m) or more, and have been recorded as deep as 1,750 ft. (533m) below the surface.

Although most of the birds breed on sea ice, the breeding sites are far from open water. The birds have been know to walk 125 miles (200km) or more to reach these remote locations, which makes it very hard for short incubation shifts. As a result, once the females have laid the egg, they go to sea while the male does all the incubation, in temperatures that are as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit (-26C). Since the males cannot leave the egg during this time, they will lose up to 45 percent of their body weight over the incubation period.