Emperor penguin
Emperor penguins

Emperor Penguins

Emperor penguins are the largest penguin species.  They are nearly 4 feet tall and weigh up to 90 pounds.  Those are BIG penguins!

Emperor penguins are easily identifiable by their size and the orange "glow" on their cheeks.

Emperor penguins live, year round, in the Antarctic.  Temperatures can fall as low as -140 degrees Fahrenheit (-60 degrees Celsius).   Most penguin species lay two eggs at a time, but due to the difficulty of raising chicks in such a harsh climate, the Emperor penguin only lays one egg.

Most penguin species take turns warming the egg, but it's up to the Emperor penguin dads to do all the work once the egg is laid.  The male stands with the egg on his feet under a brood pouch (for warmth).  He does this for up to 9 weeks, without food, waiting for the chick to hatch.  During this time, the male may lose up to half its body weight.

Once the egg hatches, the female returns and the male heads out to the ocean to feed.

Scientific genus and species:  Aptenodytes forsteri.

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