To talk about seabirds is to enter a magical world due to its beauty and color, this is the case of the distinguished Emperor penguin, a type of sphenisciform creature, has its place of origin in the family Spheniscidae, it is the largest in measurements. It cannot fly, it has inflexible and level wings, as well as a hydrodynamic body perfect for swimming.
Due to its condition, it is noted that it is an endemic species belonging to Antarctica. That, in accordance with investigations carried out, it is described that it was presented by the English zoologist George Robert Gray, in the year 1844, he gave it a name in gratitude to the German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster, who, in addition, discovered 5 species of penguins and was companion of voyages of Captain James Cook over the Pacific.
Table of Contents
- 1 Characteristics of the Emperor Penguin species
- 2 How is the feeding of the Emperor Penguin?
- 3 Do Emperor penguins like to socialize?
- 4 How fast do Emperor Penguins move?
- 5 What is the reproductive season of the Emperor Penguin like?
- 6 How long does the Emperor Penguin live?
- 7 How many Emperor Penguins are there today?
- 8 Does the Emperor Penguin have natural predators?
- 9 Important facts about the Emperor Penguin
- 10 Emperor Penguin Habitat
Characteristics of the Emperor Penguin species
You can see among its characteristics that, when it is an adult, it can measure between 115 and 120 cm tall, you can also ask yourself, ¿How much does a penguin weigh?? It has a weight of 22 to 45 kg.
It is a weight that fluctuates as indicated by sex (males are heavier than females) in the period of the year they store important fat reserves to face times of change.
While he heats the eggs he loses weight, he doesn't eat so as not to leave the eggs alone. It has a hydrodynamic body perfect for swimming.
They are clumsy to walk on land, but in the water they are excellent. They have short and firm tails, with strong feathers that are deep black.
They have a peak of about 8 cm. long, bent down. Observing that the upper jaw of the beak is dark and the lower one is usually pink, orange or lilac.
It has spikes on its tongue that function as hooks to catch prey. In the young, the ears, jaw and throat are distinguished in shades of white with a dark bill.
The Emperor Penguin is a social creature in its behavior when swimming and when searching for food. It likes to hunt in groups or in pairs, it balances its dives and surfacing very well. It can also be dynamic during the day or around the evening.
How is the feeding of the Emperor Penguin?
It is interesting to discover what the Emperor Penguin likes to eat, and what is impressive is that, it loves fish, as a general rule, it incorporates shellfish, including krill and cephalopods, for example, squid, a diet that is very rich in supplements and vitamins.
When it dives to hunt it can stay up to 18 minutes, more than 500 m, the Emperor Penguin likes to get its food in untamed marine regions of the Antarctic Ocean, it loves to go to areas without ice or ice cracks.
How do Emperor penguins hunt?
Impressively, the Emperor Penguin tries to fish in the wild ocean or in the crevice that is in the ice. They can jump to depths of 550 m, lasting submerged for up to 20 minutes at a time.
As a way to control the chill, they slow down your digestion and limit blood flow to non-critical organs. They adapt to the pressure of the water, because they have created strong bones, different from the empty bones typical of flying creatures.
Due to the condition they present, they love to be in groups while they are eating, they are known as rafts because they are concentrated in very close groups in the water. On land they structure large communities. It is amazing how they are grouped in large settlements where up to 5,000 individuals gather, in other cases up to 10,000 Penguins gather.
These communities are called penguin colony because of the groups that make them up. When they face the intense cold of the Antarctic breeze, these intelligent little animals form a tightly pressed circle, in order to achieve a warmer environment with the presence of the group.
Notice that the youngest go to the center where it is warmest. Adults will shape the outer layers of the circle, gradually twisting with those around them, forming a structure resembling a tropical storm taken on radar, adults taking turns putting themselves in the coldest places on the circle's contour.
How fast do Emperor Penguins move?
It is curious, because on dry land they walk at a speed of approximately 2.5 km per hour. If they see a slope they accelerate: they launch themselves on their bellies and slide as if they were coming down a slide. When they are in the water they progress at speeds of about 10 km/h although they can go as high as 15 km/h if they are in a hurry.
What is the reproductive season of the Emperor Penguin like?
An unmistakable component of this species is its annual reproduction that begins only in the polar winter that occurs between March and April. The Emperor Penguin reaches sexual development at 3 years old, it is important to note that, from January to March, it understands that the time has come to eat.
It is critical that adults gain weight during the long fasting periods ahead. When April rolls around, the penguins begin their popular trek to the breeding grounds. As a rule, they must travel 50 km and up to 150 km, through the polar path, mating occurs in May.
Note that the males arrive at the place before the females, once there, the preparation process begins to attract the female by making romantic scenes. Her best strategy is to put her beak on her chest, breathe, and then radiate a 2-second call.
When the pair accept each other, they stand close to each other and extend their necks, looking at each other for a few minutes. When this ritual is finished, they formally combine and walk through the community together.
To start the sexual act, the two will lean towards each other, they are monogamous, they stay with that partner for the entire season, they produce a single egg weighing about 460 g.
When the female lays the egg, the father will assume control over the young by laying the egg on his feet and covering it with the brooding patch to keep it warm for 2 months without leaving. He will not eat until the egg hatches for 110 days.
After laying the egg, the mother's healthy reserves are drained and she quickly returns to the ocean to eat. It will be gone for two months and will not return until the egg hatches, the chicks hatch after 2 months.
How long does the Emperor Penguin live?
Based on established data, it is considered that this charming and beautiful little animal lives around 15-20 years.
How many Emperor Penguins are there today?
According to current scientific estimates, which were made with satellite images, it was possible to investigate an estimate of 220,000 very stable couples, fully empowered to reproduce.
Does the Emperor Penguin have natural predators?
Indeed, yes, because the young are food for other birds, for example, the South American giant petrel or the polar skua and the leopard seals as well as the killer whales chase the adults.
Important facts about the Emperor Penguin
- They are the most attractive and largest penguins on the planet.
- They swim deeper than any other winged animal.
- They don't build houses.
- The chick is placed on their feet and hatching patch.
- El imperial penguin he performs air jumps in the middle of his swims.
- This provides them with small air bubbles that decrease friction when submerged.
- It is a striking species with beautiful colors for which it is considered one of the main cute animals in the world.
Emperor Penguin Habitat
Its sanctuary where it can be located is in the ice fields and can be found both in winter and summer. They are numerous in the Weddell Sea regions, located in the polar peninsula, they nest in the winter season in the middle of the ice sheets. that cover Antarctica.