Are you wrapped up warm? We sure hope so – because NG Kids is off to the icy Antarctic to catch up with our penguin pals! Check out our ten top facts about these brilliant birds…

1. Emperor penguins are truly beautiful birds. Adults have a white stomach and a black head, back, tail and wings. They also have yellowy-gold markings on the side of their head and neck.

2. Emperor penguins are the largest of all the different kinds of penguin. On average they measure 115cm tall – about the height of the average six year old.

3. Emperor penguins spend their entire lives in Antarctica – the Earth’s southernmost continent – where temperatures can drop to as low as -60°C. Brrrr.

4. To survive in such low temperatures, these brilliant birds have special adaptations – they have large stores of insulating body fat and several layers of scale-like feathers that protect them from icy winds. They also huddle close together in large groups to keep themselves, and each other, warm.

5. Around April every year (the start of the Antarctic winter) emperor penguins meet to breed on the thick Antarctic ice. By the time the female lays her egg (usually around June), she”s worked up a big appetite! She passes the egg to the male before journeying up to 80km to the open ocean where she can feed her hungry tummy on fishsquid and krill.

6. During this time, the males are in charge of keeping the egg safe and warm in the breeding ground. They do this by balancing the egg on their feet and covering it with feathered skin, called a ‘brood pouch’. It takes about two months for the eggs to hatch.

7. The females return in July, bringing with them food in their bellies which they regurgitate (or throw up) for the chicks to eat. The females now take over babysitting duty, leaving the males to head to the ocean for their own fishing session.

8. As the youngsters grow, the parents leave them in groups, called ‘crèches, whilst they head to the ocean to fish. Come December, the warmer temperatures break up the ice that the penguins occupy, bringing open waters closer to the nesting site. By this time, the chicks are old enough to swim and fish, and take to the ocean themselves!

emperor penguins facts

Without the warmth of the parents’ brood pouches, emperor penguin chicks would die in just a few minutes in the cold of Antarctica.

9. These birds are super swimmers and impressive divers. They can reach depths of over 500m and stay underwater for up to 22 minutes!

10. Sadly, today emperor penguins are considered near threatened and their populations are expected to decline rapidly in years to come. It”s feared that rising temperatures due to global warming will reduce their breeding ground, and overfishing will mean less food for them to eat. The good news is that by looking after our planet, YOU can help protect these amazing animals. Check out our Five Top Conservation Tips for some environment-saving ideas!

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COMMENTS

  • Tharuli

    Cool

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    noo

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    Mesa like thy penguin I tinx

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    megalodons are so cool#awesome

  • Sameek16

    The megalodon is the biggest shark.

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  • Sameek16

    Baby penguins are so cute

  • 47

    EEDF

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  • ABC589

    This help with my homework and let save Emperor Penguins!!

  • Makenna

    I love this web site to look up facts about animals.

  • ivan2

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    Penguins are the cutest animal in the world.

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    Tankas my šis jas Lots of facts now! ?(?_??)

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    This taught me a lot about penguins! My teacher recommended this site! It taught me loads of new facts about Penguins![which are my favrouite animal in the whole world!]

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  • MINNIE

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    Thanks for this amazing website - really helped with my homework ;-)

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    IM LEARNING ABOUT EMPEROR PENGUINS WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THEM IS THAT THEY CAN HOLD THEIR BREATH FOR 22 MINUTES

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    Its really sad that empreror penguins are rapidly disappearing by threatening

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    Im going to the Deep to see the penguins.

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    I love how you gave the information about the Emperor penguins and how you can stop global warming

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    Polar bears and penguins are adorable,

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    Cool pictures

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    The babies r so cute! lol

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    I learned not to fish too much and not to eat biscuits made with palm oil. Penguins are beautiful birds!

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    I Love all the pictures

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  • no one can beat nature

    Love these facts because they help me cheat on my nature tests:-) B-) lol

  • Gunter

    Thanks for saving me and why are there no penguin avatars

  • charlotte

    SAVE THE PENGUINS

  • Gavin

    they are so cute

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    the penguins are so cute

  • M

    These facts are really interesting! I like the slideshow.

  • M

    I love penguins!

  • M

    I love penguins!

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    Adorable!!!

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    how cute are they?

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    Epic facts

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    Awesome Facts

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    these are cool fact

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    Amazing totaly cool best ever

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    This is really interesting!! this is really an amazing species!!!!!!!

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    The chicks are absolutely so CUTE!!!!!!!

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    Penguins are one of my favriote animals! They are sooooo cute!!

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    i read it all

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    troy lets do this

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    yes troy your write

  • Troy

    These penguins facts are awesome! I have learned a lot about penguins. READ IT GUYS.

  • Troy

    We need to save these cute and awesome penguins.Stop overfishing! And their chicks are so CUTE!

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