Friday, January 25, 2013

Emperor Penguin is The Big Penguin Species

The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. Men and women are equal in the fur and size, reaching 122 cm (48 in) tall and weigh anywhere from 22 to 45 kg (49-99 lb). Dorsal side and head are black and sharp reflected from the breast, white belly pale-yellow and bright-yellow ear patches. Like all penguins to fly, with slender bodies, and rigid wings and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat.

Diet consists mainly of fish, but can also include crustaceans, such as krill, and squid, like cuttlefish. In hunting, the species can remain submerged up to 18 minutes, diving to a depth of 535 m (1,755 ft). It has several adaptations to facilitate this, including normal hemoglobin structured to allow for work at low oxygen levels, strong bones to reduce barotrauma, and the ability to reduce metabolism and shut down non-essential organ functions.

The Emperor Penguin is perhaps best known for the sequence of trips made each year adults to mate and to feed their children. The only penguin species that breed during the Antarctic winter, it treks 50-120 km (31-75 miles) on the ice for the colony that could include thousands of individuals. Females lay a egg, which was incubated by the male while females return to the sea to feed, parents then take turns foraging at sea and treat their chickens in the colony. Age 20 years usually in the wild, although observations indicate that some individuals may live up to 50 years.

Emperor Penguin adults stand to 110-130 cm (43-51 in) high. Weight ranges from 22.7 to 45.4 kg (50 to 100 lb) and varies by sex, with males weighing more than females. This is the fifth heaviest living species of birds, after only deviations greater than ratite. Weight also varies by season, as both male and female penguins lose substantial mass will raising hatchlings and incubating eggs. A male Emperor penguin must withstand the Antarctic cold for more than two months to protect his eggs from extreme cold. During this entire time he does not eat anything. Most male penguins will lose about 12 kg (26 lb) while they wait for their babies to hatch. Average weight of male in the early mating season is 38 kg (84 lb) and that woman is 29.5 kg (65 lb). After the mating season is down to 23 kg (51 lb) for both sexes.

Like all penguin species, the Emperor has a streamlined body to minimize barriers while swimming, and wings that have become stiff, flat flippers. The tongue is equipped with rear-facing barbs to prevent prey from escaping when caught. Males and females are similar in size and coloring. The adults have a black dorsal feathers deep, covering the head, chin, throat, back, dorsal part of the flippers, and tail. The sharp black feather plumage light reflected from elsewhere. The hamster from the wings and belly are white, becoming pale yellow on the upper breast, while the ear patches are bright yellow. Upper mandible of the 8 cm (3 in.) long black bill, and the lower mandible can be pink, orange or purple. In adolescence, auricularis patch, chin and throat are white, while the bill is black.The Emperor Penguin chick is usually covered with silver-gray down and has a black head and white mask. A girl with white feathers found in 2001, but not considered to be albino because do not have pink eye. Chicks weigh around 315 g (11 oz) after hatching, and fledge when they reach about 50% of the adult weight.

The Emperor Penguin feathers dark brown faded from November to February, before the yearly moult in January and February. Moulting occurs rapidly in this species compared with other birds, taking only around 34 days. Emperor Penguin feathers emerge from the skin after they have grown-third of their total length, and before old feathers are lost, to help reduce heat loss. New feathers then push out the old before completing their growth.

Survival level annual average of the Emperor Penguin has been measured at 95.1%, with average life expectancy of 19.9 years. The same researchers estimated that 1% of Emperor Penguins hatched could feasibly reach the age of 50. In contrast, only 19% of chicks survive their first year of life. Therefore, 80% of the Emperor Penguin population comprises adults five years and older.

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