As a response to a message asking to know more about Emperor Penguins, here is some information you may not have known…

Emperor penguins are the largest species of penguin. They are streamlined, with waterproof feathers – specially adapted for swimming. The colours of a penguin are for camouflage – the black back, when viewed from above, make the penguin appear to blend in with the sea; the white underside causes the penguin to blend in to the sea when viewed from below. This makes the ideal hunters in the sea (but does not stop them being hunted!) – although penguins cannot be in the cold sea for too long.

Penguins, again, are specially adapted for this with the ability to  store undigested food in their stomach for up to 3 weeks! They do this by maintaining their stomach temperature  around 38°C and keeping the pH levels of their stomach constant. During this time the stomach will not fluctuate and everything will remain internally constant. Penguins also do this for shorter periods of time when feeding their young, so that they can regurgitate food for them – until they can hunt for themselves; until they are big enough, with their adult feathers (waterproof enough to hunt in the sea).

Emperor Penguins live in temperatures ranging from 0°C to -60°C whilst maintaining an internal body temperature of 35°C to 41°C. The thick layers of blubber that penguins have, under their waterproof feathers, helps to keep them warm, as well as huddling together. Huddling together works best for the penguins in the middle, the outer huddle individuals will bare the brunt of the cold, so the penguins will rotate to avoid anyone freezing to death.

Random fact – polar bears are not a predator of penguins. Why? Because polar bears do not live in the same place!


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