Emperor Penguin PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Jul 14, 2021

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The emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is native to Antarctica and is the tallest and heaviest of all extant penguin species. The male and female have comparable plumage and size, reaching a length of 100 cm (39 in) and weighing between 22 and 45 kg (49 to 99 lb). The blackhead and back feathers contrast starkly with the white abdomen, pale yellow breast, and brilliant yellow ear patches.

It is flightless, having a streamlined body and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a sea environment, as do all penguins. Its main food source is fish, although it also eats crustaceans like krill and cephalopods like squid. The species can stay down for up to 20 minutes while hunting, descending to a depth of 535 meters (1,755 ft). It has a number of adaptations to help it do so, including uniquely structured haemoglobin that allows it to operate at low oxygen levels, strong bones that decrease barotrauma, and the capacity to slow down its metabolism and turn off non-essential organ functions.

Emperor penguins are the only penguin species that breeds throughout the Antarctic wintertrekking 50–120 kilometers (31–75 miles) over the ice to breeding colonies that can include thousands of individuals. The female lays a single egg, which the male incubates for slightly over two months while the female goes out to eat; the parents then alternate foraging at sea and caring for their young in the colony. In the wild, the average lifetime is 20 years. However, some individuals have been seen to live to be 50 years old.


Emperor penguins were first described in 1844 by English naturalist George Robert Gray, who coined the generic name -o-, “without-wings-diver,” from Ancient Greek word components. It was named after Johann Reinhold Forster, a German scientist who accompanied Captain James Cook on his second trip and formally identified five other penguin species. In 1773–74, Forster may have been the first person to observe the penguins, documenting a glimpse of what he thought was a similar king penguin (A. patagonicus), but given the location, it may very well have been A. forsteri.

The emperor penguin is one of two extant species in the genus Aptenodytes, along with the king penguin. A third species, Ridgen’s penguin (A. ridgeni), has been discovered in New Zealand’s late Pliocene (approximately three million years ago) fossil records. According to studies of penguin behavior and genetics, the genus Aptenodytes is basal, meaning it branched off from a branch that led to all other extant penguin species. This split is thought to have occurred approximately 40 million years ago, based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data.

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