Scientific Name: Aptenodytes forsteri
English name: Emperor Penguin
Link to Red List page: Red list page of Emperor Penguin
Where does a penguin live?
The Penguin lives almost exclusively in Antarctica along almost all the coasts of the continent. The Emperor Penguin lives exclusively in Antarctica and is the only place on earth where it can be found.
This is why the answer to the other question: can the polar bear eat the penguin? no, he can not because the polar bear lives in the Arctic while the penguin lives in Antarctica.
The habitat of the emperor penguin is that of the Antarctic coast, one of the most severe and wild environments in the world. It is the bird that lives at the lowest temperatures, in the Antarctic coasts the temperature drops easily to -40 -50 degrees and the winds that often blow between 100 and 150 km / hour, create a perceived temperature even of -90.
It is clear that in such a severe environment these animals must have an exceptional metabolism.
Dimensions of the Emperor Penguin
The Emperor Penguin can measure up to 120 cm with a weight ranging from 20 to 40 kg. Males and females are very similar in size.
The Emperor Penguin feeds mainly on fish but does not disdain crustaceans or other forms of marine life. As we said earlier, he lives in an extreme environment and therefore the body is adapted to this environment. Its feathers are the secret weapon to protect itself from the Antarctic cold and it is essential because penguins are birds that do not fly.
The Emperor Penguins travel tens of kilometers to gather in colonies where they reproduce during the Antarctic winter.
Is a penguin a mammal? no, they are birds and they lay only one egg that the female delivers to the male immediately after having laid it. The male will compost him between his paws protecting him with his warm feathers, while the female will go to sea to get food. Afterwards the female of Emperor Penguin will return and it will then be for the male to go in search of nourishment.
A feature that makes the penguin unique is that in addition to holding its breath while swimming for 20 minutes, it can sink to hunt up to 600 meters deep. A measure that opens up a series of questions among scientists, how can such a slender structure withstand such great pressures? And above all how can it go down and go back to those depths without making any kind of compensation? The second of these two questions is still unanswered while the first is explained by the bone structure which is different from that of the other birds.
Climate change is the main cause of concern for the survival of the Emperor Penguin. Population decreases have occurred in various colonies due to global warming. But it is not only this that causes problems, intensive fishing greatly reduces the availability of food causing suffering in the population. The reduction of food in the sea is not only for the penguins, even the natural predators of penguins have difficult to find food, so they become more aggressive with the penguin’s population. Finally, tourism that is becoming increasingly popular in Antarctica disturbs broods and chicks causing premature deaths and in any case discomfort, the futured image of the post is showing this issue.
We are not very sensitive to the Antarctic continent, perhaps because it is far away or perhaps because we imagine such a severe environment to be very strong. Instead, all ecosystems, even the most severe and strong, when the balance in biodiversity fails, become suffering and for this we must protect them.