Emperor Penguins: Adapted for Life in the Antarctic Wasteland
by Maya Maclin, age 9
Emperor Penguins live in Antarctica. Penguins are birds and have wings, but they swim with their wings instead of fly.
Emperor Penguin’s main colors are black and white but they also have a bit of orange on their necks. They swim in cold water, that’s why they have a thick coat of feathers. They spend most of their time with other penguins. Their average lifespan is 15 to 20 years. Penguins usually weigh around 88 pounds and can grow to 45 inches. Penguins breed during the winter. The mother lays one egg in December.
Penguins are carnivores so the mother penguin goes to catch fish for two months. The father penguin stands on his feet and he uses his brood pouch to warm the penguin eggs. When the mother penguin comes back, she eats the food and gives it to her babies by bringing it up from her stomach. Then she takes care of her children while the father leaves to get fish.
The young penguins are left in crèches while the adults go catch food. 'Crèches' are groups of little penguins that protect each other. By this point, young penguins are big enough to catch their own food, and it is summer so the ice is melted and it is easier for them to catch fish.
Penguins are unique and soft birds.
[Source: National Geographic]