Stacks Image 2227
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The largest of all living penguins, up to 115 cm in length and weighing up to 38 kg. Distinguished from the smaller King penguin by its size, more robust stature, and a broad pale yellow connection between the orange-yellow ear patches and the pale yellow upper breast. Immature birds resemble adults but are smaller and have a white rather than black chin. Ear patches of juveniles are whitish, becoming increasingly yellow with age.


Breeds during the Antarctic winter in about 30 colonies around the southern parts of the Antarctic continent, usually on fast ice. Probably depends a lot upon polynias – areas of open water surrounded by sea ice – during winter. Within the Ross Sea sector there are emperor penguin colonies at Cape Crozier on Ross Island; on Beaufort Island, and on the western shore of the Ross Sea at Cape Washington.


Breeds during the Antarctic winter, from March to December, usually on fast ice. Probably depends a lot upon polynias (areas of open water surrounded by sea-ice) during winter. Eggs and chicks are balanced on the feet to prevent them from coming into contact with the ice. No nests are built, which allows the colony to move around and huddle close together, providing some protection from the cold.