The Emperor Penguin
A Report by John A. Kwong
3rd Grade, Rockwall Christian Academy
The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest penguin species. Emperor Penguins live in the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea and Dronning Maud Land and the Princess Elizabeth Lands in Antarctica. Antarctica is a cold environment.
The male and female Emperor Penguins are similar in plumage and size, reaching 122cm (48inches or 3-4 feet tall) in height and weight reaches 22 to 45kg (49 to 99 lbs). They have a big head, a short thick neck, a streamlines shape, a short wedge-shaped tail, and tiny flipper-like wings.
Their diet consists primarily of fish, but it can also include crustaceans, such as krill, cephalopods, and squid. In hunting, the Emperor Penguin can remain submerged for 18 minutes, diving to a depth of 535 m (1,755 ft). It has several adaptations to facilitate this, including an unusually structured hemoglobin to allow it to function at low oxygen levels. They have solid bones to reduce barotrauma, and the ability to reduce its metabolism and shut non-essential organ functions.
The Emperor Penguin is best known for the sequence of journeys adults make each year to feed their offspring, the only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter, often in temperatures as low as 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It treks 50-120 kilometers (31-85 miles) over the ice to breeding colonies which may include thousands of individuals, where the female lays a single egg. They can mate at 4 years old, and can live up to 20 years old, making them the longest living penguin species.