Kings of the (Polar) World – April 1, 2020
To brighten up your day, we’re going to talk about kings of the (polar) world – also known as penguins! Pictured are two species found in Antarctica: the emperor (largest) and king (second largest). While they look pretty similar, the king penguin is the smaller of the two. It is approximately 25% shorter and weighs 1/3 of an emperor. The adult emperor penguin can reach up to 4 feet in height and weigh between 50 – 100 lbs!
As you can see from the photos, the king penguin has a more pronounced orange coloring along its neck and sleeker looking body shape. Both species do not build nests, but rather incubate their eggs by holding them on top of their feet and beneath a flap of skin. As for where they live? Typically king penguins occupy the sub-Antarctic islands (45-55 degrees South) while the emperors occupy stable pack ice near the coast of Antarctica (66-77 degrees South) and are capable of enduring harsh Antarctic winters. These two penguins were spotted back in February while working with Aurora Expeditions, only a few hundred meters apart, at a latitude of 65 degrees South. Why was the king penguin so far South and the emperor penguin so far North – and why were they alone? We still don’t have an answer but it is an interesting observation, given how much the Antarctic environment is changing.
If you can’t sleep and are tired of counting sheep, help out science by counting penguins instead!