Emperor Penguin

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Emperor Penguin
Emperor Penguin & Chick
Emperor Penguin Chick

The emperor penguin is a species of penguin. This bird cannot fly, as there are no species of penguin that has this capability. This penguin is easily distinguished by its black and white "tuxedo" coloring.

Content List

1. Scientific & Common Names

2. Characteristics

a. Breeding

b. Behavior

3. History

4. Present Status

5. References

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Aves

Order - Sphenisciformes

Family - Spheniscidae

Genus - Aptenodytes

Species - A. forsteri

Common Names - Emperor Penguin


The emperor penguin is the tallest and heaviest species of penguin. This bird hails from Antarctica and thrives in cold temperatures. It has a lifespan of up to 20 years, whether in the wild or in captivity. The emperor penguin has a black body with white belly and bright yellow beak. It stands up to four feet tall and can weigh between 50 and 100 pounds at full adulthood. The male and female emperor penguins are similar in size and appearance. Their diet consists of fish, but they are known to eat crustaceans and other animals when necessary. This penguin hunts for its prey in the icy waters and can stay submerged for about 18 minutes before coming up for air. It is a very vocal bird and can make many sounds to express his thoughts and feelings.


The emperor penguin reaches breeding age at around age three. Courtship typically takes place around April or May. The female lays one egg in May or June. This egg hatches about 64 days later, under the watchful eye of the male penguin.


The emperor penguin lives in colonies and is very playful. This species is also very vocal and can make several different sounds to communicate with fellow emperor penguins, humans and others.


The emperor penguin was first documented in 1844 but has been in existence for what is believed to be millions of years.

Present Status

The emperor penguin is considered to be a threatened species due to trade, trapping and other issues. Strict laws have been put in place regarding the trapping and export of these birds. Other efforts to preserve this species are ongoing.