Amazing! Emperor penguins live and breed in the most inhospitable place on earth

n.c.radomesStarred Page By n.c.radomes, 12th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Antarctica

Found in the Antarctica, the most desolate, unfriendly and inhospitable place on Earth being the coldest. the Emperor penguin bird is an enigma. How they fight off the freezing cold, find food for existence and reproduce their species are wonders that are worth knowing.

A self-discovery approach on how to love and appreciate penguins

OBJECTIVE: Readers shall be able to know, understand and appreciate the life, love and breeding of penguins.

MATERIALS: Picture of a family of Emperor penguin, video about how Emperor penguins breed.

CONTENT: Emperor Penguin, click URL here
INSTRUCTION: Read and answer the questions below by writing TRUE if the statement is true or FALSE if false. If you've zero knowledge about Emperor penguins, you may guess the answers, but verify them through the references given for your own advantage. Good luck!


1) Emperor penguins are the tallest and heaviest of all penguins living species and live in the Mediterranean coast._____

2) Item 2Scientists said there are estimated 400,000 to 460,000 Emperor penguins that populate the breeding colonies, distributed among 40 plus independent breeding colonies. _____

3) Penguins including Emperor are all flightless and have wings flattened into flippers that are excellent for balancing and swimming. _____

4) Penguins eat fish, krill and squid. _____

5) Emperor penguins are the only species of penguins that breed during the Antarctic winter. _____

6) The female Emperor penguins lay and incubate a single egg while the males go out to sea to catch fish. _____

7) Lifespan of Emperor penguins is 20 years when left in their habitat while some have been observed to live up to 50. _____

8) The generic name of the Emperor penguin was taken from ancient Greek which means “without-wings-diver” and named in honor of a German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster. _____

9) Female Emperor penguins weigh more than males. _____

10) A male Emperor penguin while incubating his egg must withstand the Antarctic cold for more than 2 months to protect it from the extreme cold. During this time he eats nothing. _____

11) The weight of male Emperor penguins at the start of the breeding season is 38 kg (84 lb) and that of females is 29.5 kg (65 lb).After the breeding season this drops to 23 kg (51 lbs)for both sexes. _____

12) All penguin species, including the Emperor has a streamlined body to minimize drag while swimming, and wings that have become stiff, flat flippers. _____

13) Chicks weigh around 315 g (11 oz) after hatching and fledge when they reach about 90% ofadult weight. _____

14) Arriving at a colony of male penguins incubating eggs in their brooding pouch and huddled closed together, mother penguin identifies her mate or her chick through vocal call. _____

15) The average yearly survival rate of the Emperor Penguin has been measured at 95.1%, with an average life expectancy of 19.9 years. _____

16) Penguin chicks do whistle to ask food and contact parents. _____

17) Compared to other bird species, the Emperor Penguin is the only species of bird that breeds in the coldest environment. _____

18) To counteract heat loss, penguins have feathers that provide them 80% to 90% of its insulation and a layer of fat to preserve heat and keep them warm. _____

19) Breeding colonies of penguins are usually located in areas very, very far from ice cliffs and icebergs so that they could enjoy the icy and cold wind. _____

20) Penguins have predators including birds and aquatic mammals. _____

EVALUATION: For your involvement and participation in this mental exercise, you are given a bonus of 80%. You can rate yourself 100%, if you got all the 20 questions correct. Be honest. Just write T, if you are convinced the statement is a fact, or write F, if false. KEY: 1) F, 2) F, 3) T, 4) T, 5) T, 6) F, 7) T, 8) T, 9) F, 10) T, 11) T, 12) T, 13) F, 14) T, 15) T, 16) T, 17) T, 18) T, 19) F, 20) T


  • There are 17 or 18 known species of penguins and all are interesting. It puzzles the imagination why they can’t fly despite their wings. They live in desolate and cold places of the earth. One of them the Emperor penguins thrive in no other place but the Antarctica. It is a wonder how they can survive the coldest winter temperature at – 89.2 degrees centigrade. Particularly, the Emperor penguins are the largest of the species; they breed and lay eggs during winter time. Each Emperor female penguin lays only one egg and its equally interesting to know who incubates the egg and how the female penguin lays her egg without a nest because- unlike others- Emperor penguins don’t build nest. Penguins are great swimmers and divers. They can catch fish under floating ice. Researchers say they have amazing swimming speed and dive thousands of feet underwater to catch fish, silverfish, squid and krill for food.
  • Why do penguins prefer to live in the Antarctica which is of all places on earth the most desolate, the cruelest place being the coldest. Why don’t the find other pleasant places like other migrating birds? The answer I think is they were purposely made by God to make the Antarctic a little lively. Being born there, they have no other choice but to prepare and hone themselves ready to fight the kind of arctic life required of them. They are there by nature.
  • It's common knowledge that the female Emperor penguin lays only an egg during a nesting session and goes out to the sea to catch fish to replenish nourishment, leaving her egg to Father Emperor for incubation. What boggles the mind is how is the transfer done? Here's one research work which is quite satisfactory:
  • "At the end of May, the female has lost almost a third of her weight when she lays her
    only egg. She is standing to lay this egg, and it is a critical time. Under no circumstance can the egg roll onto the ice, because in just a few seconds, it would freeze. So the female immediately slides the egg onto her feet and makes it disappear in her incubating pocket, under her belly. But before this can happen, just one day after laying the egg, the couple will face its first challenge, a very delicate and coordinated effort: transferring the egg from the feet of the female to the feet of the male. Neither of them can fail because the egg is fragile, the terrain uneven, and the exercise can be fatal in case of a mistake. After many songs and dances, the female
    moves back, pushes the egg out onto the ice, while the male takes his beak to push the egg immediately onto his own feet. Again, there is the danger the egg will freeze. There are dozens of lost eggs on the edge of the colony, which are a testament to how difficult this transfer actually is, and to the fact that it requires total harmony between the parents".
  • Unlike other birds, Emperor penguins don't build nest where to lay and incubate egg. This is how they do it: "They stand upright while incubating a single egg on the tops of their feet under a loose fold of abdominal skin. Under this loose fold is a featherless patch of skin called a brood patch, which contains numerous blood vessels that, when engorged with blood, transfer body heat to the eggs."
  • The Emperor Penguin is a strong bird. There’s a report that six men, trying to capture a single male penguin for a zoo collection, were repeatedly tossed around and knocked over before they could tackle the bird. The American physiologist Gerry Kooyman attaches automatic dive-recording devices to Emperor Penguins in 1971 and found that the species reaches depths of 265 m (869 ft), with dive periods of up to 18 minutes. Later research revealed a small female had dived to a depth of 535 m (1,755 ft) near McMurdo Sound.

  • Related:

  • how emperor penguins reproduce
  • where do penguins live?
  • species of penguins
  • [*Cool Antarctica

Credit goes to the following sites for the use of images herein. Thanks!

  • - 640 × 395 - Search by image
  • - 650 × 432 - Search by image. Emperor penguins huddling together to aid in heat retention.
  • There are several species of penguins. The largest of all species is the Emperor Penguin, reaching a measure in adulthood of 3.7 ft. (1.1 m) and weighing in about 74 lbs on average (35 kg). Males can easily weight 84 lbs at the beginning of breeding season but its weight will drastically decline over the season to about 51 lbs. This is because during the time he is incubating the egg, he does not eat anything. The female lays a single egg and leaves out to sea to feed, the egg is then incubated by the male while the female is gone. Afte the chick is hatched, the Emperor Penguin parents subsequently take turns at sea alternating with caring for their chick in the colony.

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author avatar n.c.radomes
12th Jul 2013 (#)

My "attach image" button isn't working. Help!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
20th Jul 2013 (#)

another most interesting page to read n.c. thank you

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author avatar n.c.radomes
20th Jul 2013 (#)

Steve, cnwriter: thanks for the moderation, visit and encouragement.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

always n.c.

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