Emperor Penguins on Ice

Emperor Penguins on Ice

Video. Learn how penguins propel themselves on to the ice, out of the water.


5 - 12


Arts and Music, Biology, Physics, Photography

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This video is from the December 2012 digital edition of National Geographic magazine. Find more interactive content, photos, and videos in the digital version of National Geographic magazine.

Fast Fact

  • Emperor penguins are the largest of all penguins. An average bird stands about 115 centimeters (45 inches) tall. These flightless animals live on the Antarctic ice and in the frigid surrounding waters. It is an incredibly harsh environment. Wind chills can reach -60C (-76F).

Fast Fact

  • At sea, emperor penguins can dive to 565 meters (1,850 feet)—deeper than any other bird—and stay under for more than 20 minutes.

Fast Fact

  • Male and female emperors take turns going out to sea to feed. Females lay a single egg and then promptly leave it behind. They undertake an extended hunting trip that lasts about two months, during which they feed on fish, squid, and krill. Male emperors stay behind and keep the eggs warm, protecting them from the elements until they hatch. The females return and bring a full belly of food that they regurgitate for the newly hatched chicks. Meanwhile, their duty done, male emperors take to the sea in search of food for themselves.

Fast Fact

  • Emperor penguins can weigh up to 40 kilograms (88 pounds).
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National Geographic Society
Sean P. O'Connor
Samantha Zuhlke, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

April 23, 2024

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