Emperor Penguin
Three happy Emperor Penguins
Scientific Name Aptenodytes Fosteri
Height 115 cm
Location Antarctica
Food Mainly Antarctic Silverfish. Also Crustaceans (crabs) and Cephalopods (squids)
Number of Hatchlings 1 per breeding season
Incubation Time ~65 days
Subspecies None

The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes Fosteri) is the largest and heaviest species of penguin. It reaches a height of 115 centimeters (around 4 feet) and a weight of around 88 pounds (40 kg). They live on the Antarctic ice cap, and are deft swimmers. These flightless birds eat on fish, squid, and other seafood.


Penguins originated around 71 million years ago, diverging from the albatross and the petrel's ancestors. The very first penguins resembled petrels, with short wings that let them dive 240 feet underwater. Over time, penguins became quite more adept to diving, but for that they sacrificed their ability to fly. The oldest actual penguins are dated from 62 million years ago. The Emperor Penguin along with the King Penguin belong to the oldest lineage of penguins, while the other species developed somewhat later.




Emperor penguin couple with their baby. In this picture, the characteristics can be well appreciated

The adult Emperor has black feathers covering its throat, back, head, neck and the dorsal area of the flippers. Excepting for the beak and the feet, it is covered in white feathers. A small part of the neck though, is pale yellow, and the penguin's ear patches are bright yellow. The lower part of the beak can be pink, orange, or lilac, as well.


The baby penguins resemble the adults, but they have some gray feathers, which fall off as it is reaching maturity. The ear patch is less noticeable in younglings as they are not yellow yet

Food HabitsEdit

  • Squid, One of the penguin's common food choices
  • Crab. Also eaten by emperors
  • Anctartic Silverfish. The Most common food source for emperors
  • Petrel
  • A couple of Skuas
  • Petrel Feeding on a penguin egg
  • Orcas Hunting a very Unlucky penguin
  • Leopard Seal/Sea Leopard. They eat penguins too
It has many sources of food, eating various fish, crusteaceans (crabs, lobsters...) and cephalopods (squid). The most common element of its diet is the Antarctic silverfish, followed by the glacial squid and the hooked squid.

Predators Edit

Skuas and petrels often eat penguin eggs. They also feed on dead babies.

Another known predator is the killer whale

It is also hunted down by the leopard seal

Courting and BreedingEdit

Penguins court the following way:

1. The male breathes in, and then it makes a courtship call for 1-2 seconds.

2. The male keeps making courtship calls until a female comes to him.

2 courting Penguins

3. Male and female stand face-to-face, one of them extends its neck up, while the other mirrors the position.

4. After holding position 3 for several minutes, the couples return to the colony.

5. Then, one of the penguins bows to its mate, the mate mirroring it.

Penguins breed once a year, though they don't always return to their last partner for breeding

Taking care of the eggEdit

A penguin egg typically takes 65 days to hatch. During that time, the male penguin must warm the egg so it is ready to hatch. During this time, the colony usually waddles in groups, to keep the egg at a better temperatu

Male Emperor Penguin With Egg


While the males guard the eggs, the female penguins go fishing for their youngling. The information above is shown very well in cartoon movie Happy Feet.

Raising the BabyEdit

The females return between the day of hatching and 10 days after. If the baby hatches early, the father feeds it a substance that is 59% protein and 28% lipid, which he produces from his esophagus. When the mothers arrive, they expel fish from their stomach to feed their child. During the next five years, baby penguins are carefully watched by the parents of the colony. After reaching the 5 years, penguins are fully mature.

  • Newborn Penguin
  • Baby emperors in the colony
  • The babies keep together to keep their temperature warm
  • Mother feeding her baby

Fun factsEdit

  • The colony of penguins portrayed for Happy Feet as Mumble's home, is an emperor penguin colony.
  • There is no deeper-diving Bird.
  • They are deft swimmers, as all penguin species are.
  • The hunting technique done by orcas in the movie Happy Feet is actually what these whales do.
  • They are the tallest and heaviest species of penguins.
  • They belly slide from time to time.
  • The Emperor Penguin Is the Tallest and Heaviest Penguin
  • To feed the baby, the mother regurgitates a fish and "kisses" the baby

More picturesEdit

  • Penguins waddling about
  • Emperor belly sliding
  • Penguins diving to get some fish
  • Flock of emperor penguins swimming
  • A penguin jumping out of the water
  • A Colony of emperor penguins
  • Happy feet, movie which references emperor penguins


New York Times: DNA Studies Suggest Emperor is Most Ancient Of Penguins

Wikipedia, Emperor Penguin (Courting and Breeding)