Emperor penguin Facts

Emperor penguin Facts
Emperor penguin is the largest species of penguin. This is also the only non-migratory species of penguin that spends the entire year on the open ice of Antarctica. Major threats for the survival of emperor penguins in the wild are climate changes (which reduce number of breeding areas) and lack of food (due to overfishing). With 200.000 breeding couples remaining in the wild, emperor penguin is classified as near threatened.
Interesting Emperor penguin Facts:
Emperor penguin can reach 39 to 47 inches in height and 49 to 99 pounds of weight.
Emperor penguin has black head and back, white belly, pale yellow breasts and yellow ear patches. It has four layers of scale-like, oily and waterproof feathers and thick layer of blubber which ensure survival on a temperature of minus 60 degrees of Celsius.
Emperor penguin has small black beak with orange-yellow line that runs lengthwise, small, stiff flippers, aerodynamic body and webbed feet with sharp claws.
Emperor penguin moves on the solid ground by walking on two legs and gliding on the belly.
Emperor penguin is a carnivore. Its diet is based on krill, squids and fish.
Emperor penguin swims at the speed of 7.6 miles per hour. It can dive to a depth of 1850 feet and stay under the water for up to 20 minutes.
Natural enemies of emperor penguins are seabirds (giant petrels and skuas), killer whales and leopard seals.
Emperor penguin is the only species of penguin that mates during the coldest period of the year. It travels up to 50 miles away from the sea at the beginning of the winter toward the more stable breeding areas.
Males move their heads and produce courtship calls to attract females.
Emperor penguins form monogamous pairs that usually last only one season.
Female lays one egg and returns to the sea to collect food, while male takes care of the egg during the entire period of incubation which lasts 70 days. Male holds egg on top of the feet and keeps it warm with a layer of feathered skin called brood pouch.
Emperor penguins gather in large groups to survive extremely cold weather without eating during the incubation period. They change position and move from the periphery to the center of the group from time to time to warm themselves up. Males can lose up to 50% of their body mass during this period.
Females return to the colony when chicks hatch. They feed them with half-digested food. Males then travel back to the sea, while females stays with their chicks and keep them warm with their own brood pouches until they become old enough to stay in the crèches with other youngsters.
Young emperor penguins fledge at the age of 5 to 6 months and reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 years.
Emperor penguin can survive 15 to 20 years in the wild.

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