Emperor Penguin

Created on Day 5


Baby penguins hatch at just the right time. During the winter months when the young hatch, the ocean is farthest away from the penguins. By the time the young are ready to enter the ocean, the ice pack has melted, bringing the water’s edge closest to them. To keep warm against the harsh Antarctic wind and subzero temperatures while incubating its egg, the male penguin huddles with other males in a huge circle. They take turns moving from the outer, colder area to the inner, warmer area. This instinct is part of God’s protection for this species.


  • The emperor penguin is the largest of the penguin species.
  • An orange-yellow band extends from behind the eyes of the emperor penguin downward to the neck and chest area. There is also orange coloring on its lower beak.
  • It is easily recognized with its jet black head, grayish-black wings and back, and white belly.
  • All penguins are flightless on land, but do “fly” very well under water.

Fun Facts

  • The male is responsible for incubating the egg. He carries it on his feet and protects it in his brood pouch while the female leaves to hunt for food.
  • While the female is gone, the male goes without food for nearly 2 months.
  • The emporer penguin can dive to a depth of more than 1,500 ft (450 m).

CLASS: Aves (birds)

ORDER: Sphenisciformes (penguins)

FAMILY: Spheniscidae (penguins)

GENUS/SPECIES: Aptenodytes forsteri

Size: Average almost 4 ft (1.2 m)

Weight: 40–100 lbs (18–46 kg)

Diet: Mainly fish, also krill and cephalopods

Habitat: In Antarctic waters; nests on ice floes or Antarctic mainland