Best 15 Emperor penguin facts updated 2021

Emperor penguin facts

Emperor penguins are the largest penguins on Earth. They thrive in coldest continents like Antarctica. The scientific name for the Emperor penguins is “Aptenodytes forsteri.” The main diet of the Emperor penguins is fish but they also occasionally eat the crustaceans, and squids. Emperor penguins are easily recognizable due to their black heads and backs. Their bellies atte white with a yellow ring circling the neck. The beak is also black with a tinge of orange in the lower side.


  1. Emperor penguins can slide on their bellies at the rate of 2.5 kilometer per hour.
  2. They are efficient swimmers and can swim at the rate of ten kilometers per hour.
  3. Emperor penguins are the only one that can breed in the extreme winter season in the Southern Hemisphere.
  4. Emperor penguins become fertile sexually at the age of three.
  5. From January to March is theri feeding season, and they have to gain some extra pounds for the breeding season.
  6.  Season for mating is May, and the male penguins go beforehand before the males to prepare for the mating.
  7. To impress the female penguins, male penguins touch their chests with their beaks and make a call that can last for two seconds.
  8. Emperor penguins are monogamous which explains that they stay with one mate for their entire lives.
  9. Female penguins lay one egg that can weigh up to 400 grams.
  10. Emperor penguins can live for fifteen to twenty years in the wild.

There are present many people who search about these penguin species to get information about them. You will find about the personality, facts, and almost everything about each animal here in this zoological world. But we are going to discuss many interesting facts and information about the emperor penguins in this article.

The emperor penguins with the scientific name of Aptenodytes forsteri are the heaviest and tallest of all other penguin species and are found in Antarctica islands. Many of the exciting information about them is as given below:

  1. Height: As they are the tallest species, their height is in the range of about 43 to 51 inches in the case of adults. Furthermore, they have a length of 100 centimeters.
  2. Weight: The males and females in these penguins are similar in plumage and size, thus weighing between 49 and 99 pounds. They are, hence considered the heaviest species.
  3. Color: Both sexes are similar in coloration in these animal species. They have yellow-colored patches towards the neck.  The adults have deep black-colored dorsal feathers and black-colored plumage. 
  4. Body: These penguins with black tails, wings, head, and back are truly beautiful birds. They have stiff, short and wedge-shaped tail and an elongated body with a large head.
  5. Temperament: If we talk about the temperament of these cute birds, they are not aggressive. Their kind nature is because of the low number of predators in their habitat. In addition to this, they can sometimes become frustrated, if provoked.

Emperor penguin facts

The 15 emperor penguin facts for kids are as mentioned below:

  1. Size: These animal species with a size of 45 inches are the largest of the 17 other penguin species.
  2. Living habits: One of these birds’ living habits is that they live in large colonies with almost twenty thousand birds.
  3. Locomotion: They walk very slowly on land. Furthermore, they use their wings to slide along and use to lie on their stomachs.
  4. Wind speed: These beautiful birds can bear the wind speed of about 200 kilometres per hour.
  5. Lifespan: The emperor penguins can have an average lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. Those in the wild can live up to 15 years while those who remain in captivity have 20 years of lifespan. However, this lifespan varies with diet and other sources as well.
  6. Swimming: The emperors can move through water with great agility and speed. They are considered excellent swimmers because of strong flippers and aerodynamic bodies, thus they can reach the swimming speed of about 3.4 meters per second.
  7. Diving:  They can even dive up to the depths of 1850 feet and can also remain underwater for a maximum of 20 minutes. That’s the reason they can dive deeper than other penguin species.
  8. Breeding: As these birds are monogamous, they usually have one mate per year. During May or June, the female lays one egg, thus transferring it to male. The male then keeps this egg in his brood pouch for incubation of about 65 days. 
  9. Hatching: As the eggs’ shell is thick, it takes about two to three days to hatch.
  10. Behavior: They are considered highly social animals who like to live in large groups or colonies. Besides this, they seldom pair with the same mate in the next breeding season. 
  11. Moult: These birds appear to start their yearly moult, once they are separated from their offspring.
  12. Travelling: The emperor penguins can also travel in the extreme habitat. For example, they strongly grip the surface on ice masses with the help of their strong claws.
  13. Happy feet: An Australian movie named happy feet was also made on the basis of Emperor penguin story who cannot sing.
  14. Predators: The predators of these adult birds include Leopard seals, Orcas, or killer whales. In contrast, the chicks are eaten by South Polar Skua and Southern Giant Petrels.
  15. Habitat: The Emperor penguin habitat facts include that they spend their entire lives in the Antarctica Islands, where the lowest possible temperature is almost -60 degrees Celsius.

Best 15 Emperor penguin facts infographics

Emperor penguin diet facts

Like all other animal species, these birds also require a proper diet for their survival. The emperor tamarin diet includes krill, squid, fish, and the most important ones are Antarctic silverside fishes. They dive up to the depths of about 700 feet in search of food foraging. It has been estimated that these penguin species can eat almost six kilograms in a day.

However, talking about their population, there has left only 595,000 emperor penguins. Due to many threats, including predators, habitat loss, sea ice melting, and climate crisis, their population is decreasing rapidly and are now kept in the list of endangered species.  

What do you call a group of emperor penguins? 

A group of emperor penguins in water is generally named as a waddle or a raft. Their groups are also named as rookeries, colonies, and huddles. They use to move in different colonies, having 20,000 birds of their own species.

Are emperor penguins aggressive?

Although some of the other penguin species are aggressive, these animal species never become angry. They sometimes become frustrated when someone tries to harm them or snatch their eggs. However, their kind nature is because of the low number of predators and other threats in their natural habitat.

Emperor penguin facts 11

What do emperor penguins need to survive?

There are present many of the adaptations; these birds need to survive. Due to the presence of several layers of scale-like feathers, they have an excellent insulation system. The small bills and flippers are also present in them for heat conservation. They also have some well-developed adaptations to cold. For example, these animal species have a relatively low activity level and a large energy-giving body fat reservation.

How big do emperor penguins get?

As they are the tallest and heaviest animal species, they also have a specific weight. If we talk about their sexes, both males and females are similar in coloration, size, and plumage. These birds with a length of 1.2 meters weigh about 51 pounds in case of both adult sexes after the breeding season. But this weight may also vary depending upon the location because of the loss of their substantial masses.

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Are the emperor penguins friendly?

These animal species have a kind and friendly nature. They are very friendly to those who do not try to harm them. Some of the reports have shown that these birds show very polite behavior to tourists as well.

As we have discussed many of the interesting facts and information about these animal species, there are present many of the threats to them as well. For example, predators, climate crisis, habitat loss, etc. are also major reasons for these birds’ declining population. Some of the Rehabilitation centers and rescue teams are also present for the protection of these beautiful birds. 

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