When you think of a penguin, you have a picture that pops into your head and in most circumstances, it would be an Emperor penguin. There are an ample amount of interesting facts about this species of penguin, particularly for kids.
1. Emperor penguins are the largest species of penguin in the world. They are 4 feet tall and can weigh as much as 90 pounds. Those are some HUGE penguins.
2. The easiest way to tell an Emperor penguin apart from other species is because of their size and the orange streaking that they have on their cheeks. This is sometimes referred to as an orange “glow.”
3. These types of penguins live in the Antarctic throughout the year. Considering that the temperatures can get as low as -140 degrees Fahrenheit (-60 degrees Celsius) they are strong enough to resist the cold.
4. Since they live in such a cold area, having babies is another thing that is different between Emperor penguins and other species. Other penguins will lay two eggs at once, but because of the harsh climate, these penguins only lay one.
5. The Dads are generally the parent that take care of the eggs until they hatch. Whereas in other species of penguins, both parents will take turns taking care of the eggs. The male penguin will rest the egg on his feed underneath his stomach pouch in order to keep it warm. This process can take as long as 9 weeks and the fathers won’t even eat, as they will simply be waiting for the chick to hatch. Since this is a lengthy process, the Dad can lose almost half of his total body weight.
6. Once the egg has hatched, the roles reverse and the Mom takes care of the chick as it grows older. This allows the father to return to the ocean to feed so that he can become bigger again.
7. As soon as the weather starts to get warmer and the chicks get older, the parent penguins will bring their nesting sites closer to the water. This allows them to teach their young how to fish and gather their own food so they are prepared once they become adults themselves. Not only does it allow them to teach their children how to find food, but it also allows them to get away from the pieces of ice that begin to break up due to the warmer weather.