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Emperor Penguins

Aptenodytes forsteri
The Emperor Penguin is the largest penguin, in both body mass and height.
Common Name: Emperor Penguin
Scientific name: Aptenodytes forsteri
Population: 120,000 breeding pairs (in 2012)
Weight and height: 32-40 kg, 1.2 meters
Lifespan: 20 years
Conservation status: Near Threatened
Population Trend: Unknown
Geographic Breeding Range: Antarctica
Prey/diet: Variety of fish, cephalopods and krill
Distinguishing physical characteristics: The largest of all penguin species, distinguished by faint yellow auricular patches which become more orange near the ear. Faint yellow coloration across the upper chest. Face is black, upper mandible of the bill is black, with pink to orange on the lower mandible. Legs are feathered, feet are black. Eye is dark brown.

Fun Fact:

They were probably first sighted on the second voyage of Captain James Cook (1773-1775). Emperor Penguins have only one chick per season and are the only species to incubate their eggs during the Antarctic winter. Emperors do not build a nest, but incubate their egg on their feet to keep the egg warm.

Current Conservation Status

Emperor Penguin
population trends:


Current estimates of Emperor Penguin populations are unknown due to the lack of data on actual population sizes in difficult-to-access regions of Antarctica. Populations of Emperor Penguins are expected to decrease, however, due to effects of global warming on the Antarctic region.

Emperor Penguin Conservation Status:


Range Map:

Get more penguin information at the links below