This article is about some of the imperative emperor penguin facts for kids that are rarely known. This includes emperor penguins diet, habitat, behavior, and reproduction. The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is by far the tallest of all the penguin species. These flightless birds are mainly the inhabitants of Antarctica. No significant size-difference is notable between male and female in that both reaches at a height of about 122 cm (48 inches). With their unmistakable physical appearance, they can be easily identifiable from distant locations. Looking from sideways, emperor penguin exhibits black and white color, with black coming from its back and extending towards its flippers; whereas the white dominates over the front and belly. The breast show fair signs of pale yellow patches. These types of penguins are widely known for their massive traveling which the adults make every year. They usually cover a vast distance of 50 – 120 km (31 – 75 miles) toward the breeding colonies. This migration takes place in groups comprising thousands of individuals.
Emperor Penguin Facts For Kids
- The length of the emperor penguins measures around 122 cm (48 inches).
- These flightless birds weigh around 22.7 to 45.4 kg (50 to 100 lb). The males are relatively heavier than females.
- These penguins are habitual to withstand an intense cooler temperature of about -70o to protect their chicks and during this time period they do not eat anything. It may last for 3 to 4 months. These species are known to reduce their weight by 12 kg (26 lb) during this phase. During the breeding season, the average weight of male is about 38 kg (84 lb), whereas females measuring at 29.5 kg (65 lb). This much weight drops down to 23 kg (51 lb) after the breeding season ends.
- The undersides of emperor penguins are pale-yellow in color.
- The size of the bill measures around 8 cm (3 inches).
- The weight of the chicks is about 315 kg (11 oz).
- The dark plumage of these penguins alters into brown color in November and it continues to be so until February.
- The average lifespan of emperor penguins is about 19.9 years, with the survival rate of 95.1%. The 19% of chicks live on during their foremost year.
- It’s the vocalization of several penguin species that helps them to identify their mates or chicks since there is no specific nesting site of emperor penguins. These vocals may be comprised of different kinds of complex voices.
- They can reside under the extreme temperatures ranging from −40 °C to −70 °C, enduring a wind speed of about 144 km/h (89 mph). The water temperature is measured at −1.8 °C (28.8 °F) which is significantly lower than the penguins’ body temperature. The emperor penguin’s feathers provide them a sheer protection regarding counteracting any heat loss. The thickness of these feathers is up to 3 cm (1.2 inches). Emperor penguins are capable to retain their body temperatures without shifting metabolism. This is known as thermoregulate.
- These species are actually sociable by nature.
- Emperor penguins remain vigorous during daytime.
- Male and female penguins travel 500 km (311 miles) in pursuit of food.
- The average speed of swimming is about 6 – 9 km/h (4 – 6 mph).
Where Do Emperor Penguins Live
These flightless birds are known to distribute between 66° and 77° south latitudes. They usually build breeding colonies where iceberg and ice cliffs are present to provide them additional protection against the fast winds. The total population of emperor penguins is about 400,000 to 450,000 individuals which is dispersed on several breeding colonies. Cape Washington is the largest hub of breeding colonies, hosting 20,000 to 25,000 breeding pairs. Some other islands where these birds are normally found include Queen Maud land, Coulman Island, Victoria Island, Taylor Glacier, and Heard Island.
What Do Emperor Penguins Eat
The emperor penguins primarily feed on cephalopods and crustaceans. Apart from these diets, fish is the chief source of food including Antarctic fish. Other preys include hooked squid, glacial squid, and Antarctic krill. They can easily dive down into a depth of 50 m (164 feet) in search of their prey.
Emperor Penguin Facts about its Breeding
- They begin to breed when they reach 3 years.
- The reproductive cycle ranges from March to April.
- Emperor penguins are monogamous birds in that they mate for life.
- The weight of the eggs is 460–470 g (1 lb) and is laid in the months of May and June. Thee greenish-white eggs measure at 12 × 8 cm (4¾ x 3 in).
- The period of hatching lasts for about 2 to 3 days.