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What are some facts about emperor penguins?

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Quick Answer

Emperor penguins are the largest of their species and cannot fly. They live in the Antarctic on the ice and in the surrounding cold waters. Emperor penguins survive this climate by relying on a number of special adaptations.

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Full Answer

According to National Geographic, emperor penguins are on average about 45 inches tall. Because they must search for their food at sea, emperor penguins can dive up to 1,850 feet and stay underwater for about 20 minutes.

These penguins have physiological adaptations that allow them to better deal with their harsh environment. They huddle together in an effort to combat the wind and take turns being inside the huddle.

Emperor penguins breed in the winter, and after the female lays eggs she leaves them for the father to look after while she goes to look for food. He keeps the eggs warm for about 65 days until they are ready to hatch. In order to keep the eggs warm, the male penguin balances them on his feet and covers them with his brood pouch. The brood pouch is another example of a physiological adaptation, and is essentially a warm, thick layer of feathered skin. When the eggs hatch, the mother penguin returns with food for the chicks and takes over the parenting duties while the father heads out to look for his own food.

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