Surname: Emperor Penguin
Other names: /
Latin name: Aptenodytes forsteri
size: 1 - 1.3m
mass: 20 - 35kg
Older: up to 20 years
Appearance: white-yellow belly plumage, black head, gray-blue back plumage
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: predominantly fish eater (piscivor)
food: Fish, octopus, krill
original origin: Antarctic
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Coastal areas
natural enemies: Orca
sexual maturity: between the age of three and five
mating season: April May
breeding season: about 60 days
clutch size: 1 egg
social behavior: colony forming
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about emperor penguins
- The Emperor Penguin or Aptenodytes forsteri describes a species within the Great Penguins.
- With a body height of up to 130 centimeters and a maximum weight of 35 kilograms, he is considered the largest exponent of penguins.
- The Emperor Penguin lives in the Antarctic, where he is the only vertebrate besides the coastal areas and the inland populated.
- It has deep black plumage on the head, throat and chin, the entire belly is yellowish white, the wings and back are covered with blue-gray or dark brown feathers. Particularly striking is the bright yellow ear spot, which measures several inches and merges into a brighter yellow on the belly approach.
- The feathers are rubbed in the course of daily preening with an oily secretion, which is formed in a skin gland and protects the penguins against water and cold. The plumage provides maximum heat insulation through the glandular secretion.
- The thick layer of skin beneath the plumage also contributes to the emperor penguins not freezing despite the harsh climatic conditions. However, the main function of the fat layer is to store nutrients for the breeding season.
- The extremely sociable animals often stand with their backs facing the wind, close together to warm each other.
- Emperor penguins live in huge colonies and hunt in the sea in smaller groups.
- They feed on various fish and squid as well as krill.
- As excellent divers, emperor penguins can hunt over five hundred meters below the water surface, reaching speeds of almost forty kilometers per hour.
- With the onset of the Antarctic winter, the breeding season of the emperor penguin begins. Males and females join together to monogamous season seasons and breed together again in the following years.
- To breed, the emperor penguin leaves the sea water and migrates up to two hundred kilometers into the interior. On the thick layer of ice, the female lays an egg after mating, weighing five hundred grams.
- Afterwards, the female leaves the brood care to her partner and wanders back to the coast to hunt.
- During this time, the male consumes his thick layer of fat, warms the egg on the underside of his stomach and loses weight.
- After 65 days, the chick hatches when the mother returns with a goitre of pre-digested food for her baby.
- The male now wanders back to the sea to hunt and eat a new layer of fat.
- The life expectancy of the emperor penguins is about twenty years.