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Emperor penguin - world’s largest penguin species endemic to Antarctica

Baku, May 16, AZERTAC

The emperor penguins, endemic to the Antarctic continent, are the largest of all penguins, with an average bird standing some 45 inches tall.

These flightless animals live on the Antarctic ice and in the frigid surrounding waters.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, emperor penguins are capable of diving to depths of approximately 550 metres (1,800 feet) in search of food, which makes them the world’s deepest-diving birds.

Adults are colored black and white with areas of orange and yellow on the head, neck, and breast.

Some members of this species may grow to approximately 130 cm (about 50 inches) long and weigh 25 to 45 kg (55 to 100 pounds).

Adept divers that can remain underwater for nearly 22 minutes, emperor penguins capture krill, fish, and squid that congregate under or near the edges of ice shelves. On the other hand, the species is a prey for killer whales (Orcinus orca), leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx), and giant fulmars (Macronectes giganteus).

The emperor penguin is considered a near threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Despite the discovery of additional colonies, which lifted the estimated number of breeding pairs to more than 275,000, scientific models predict drastic population decreases in emperor penguin colonies along the Antarctic Peninsula as sea ice coverage continues to fall.

 

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