Both King Penguins and Emperor Penguins are fascinating subspecies of the adorable and intelligent penguin. So what makes these two creatures different?
King Penguins live on rocky islands in the Antarctic Region. These penguins live in groups called
and huddle together for warmth.
At 35 inches tall, King Penguins are the second-largest penguins in the world. Adult King Penguins are black, white, and grey—just like other penguins—but their heads also have bright orange spots and their upper backs change from silver to white.
This penguin subspecies is particularly unique because the females lay just one egg at a time and don’t make nests—two traits that are unusual for penguins. The male King Penguin protects the egg by holding it on his feet. He tucks the egg under the warm fur on his belly and keeps it off the ground to prevent it from freezing. Once hatched, King Penguin chicks range from brown to grey.
Together with King Penguins, Emperor Penguins are known as “great penguins.” Scientists believe these two animals are closely related to the prehistoric Giant Penguin.
Emperor Penguins live in Antarctica. Here, about 40 breeding colonies have adapted to the very cold weather. Their feathers insulate them and cover their whole bodies, even down their legs. Like King Penguins, Emperor Penguins live in colonies. In fact, these colonies can be as large as 1,000 members.
The largest penguins on Earth, Emperor Penguins walk 125 miles every March to reach their breeding ground. During this time, male Emperor Penguins go an astounding 115 days without food. When they’re not fasting, Emperor Penguins feed on fish, squid, and small aquatic animals.
Both King Penguins and Emperor Penguins are smart, beautiful creatures who have creative ways to survive the environments in which they live.
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