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Unbelievable! Emperor Penguins breed without nests

Updated on November 20, 2014 /  Emperor Penguin family / Emperor Penguin family


  • OBJECTIVE: Readers shall be able to know, understand and appreciate the life, love and breeding of penguins.
  • MATERIALS: Picture of a family of Emperor penguin, video about how Emperor penguins breed.
  • CONTENT: Emperor Penguin, click URL here

Questions to answer

Instruction: Read and answer the questions below by writing TRUE if the statement is true or FALSE if false.

  1. Emperor penguins are the tallest and heaviest of all penguins living species and live in the Mediterranean coast._____
  2. Scientists said there are estimated 400,000 to 460,000 Emperor penguins that populate the breeding colonies, distributed among 40 plus independent breeding colonies. _____
  3. Penguins including Emperor are all flightless and have wings flattened into flippers that are excellent for balancing and swimming. _____
  4. Penguins eat fish, krill and squid. _____
  5. Emperor penguins are the only species of penguins that breed during the Antarctic winter. _____
  6. The female Emperor penguins lay and incubate a single egg while the males go out to sea to catch fish. _____
  7. Lifespan of Emperor penguins is 20 years when left in their habitat while some have been observed to live up to 50. _____
  8. The generic name of the Emperor penguin was taken from ancient Greek which means “without-wings-diver” and named in honor of a German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster. _____
  9. Female Emperor penguins weigh more than males. _____
  10. A male Emperor penguin while incubating his egg must withstand the Antarctic cold for more than 2 months to protect it from the extreme cold. During this time he eats nothing. _____
  11. The weight of male Emperor penguins at the start of the breeding season is 38 kg (84 lb) and that of females is 29.5 kg (65 lb).After the breeding season this drops to 23 kg (51 lbs)for both sexes. _____
  12. All penguin species, including the Emperor has a streamlined body to minimize drag while swimming, and wings that have become stiff, flat flippers. _____
  13. Chicks weigh around 315 g (11 oz) after hatching and fledge when they reach about 90% of adult weight. _____
  14. Arriving at a colony of male penguins incubating eggs in their brooding pouch and huddled closed together, mother penguin identifies her mate or her chick through vocal call. _____
  15. The average yearly survival rate of the Emperor Penguin has been measured at 95.1%, with an average life expectancy of 19.9 years. _____
  16. Penguin chicks do whistle to ask food and contact parents. _____
  17. Compared to other bird species, the Emperor Penguin is the only species of bird that breeds in the coldest environment. _____
  18. To counteract heat loss, penguins have feathers that provide them 80% to 90% of its insulation and a layer of fat to preserve heat and keep them warm. _____
  19. Breeding colonies of penguins are usually located in areas very, very far from ice cliffs and icebergs so that they could enjoy the icy and cold wind. _____
  20. Penguins have predators including birds and aquatic mammals. _____


For your involvement and participation in this mental exercise, you are given a bonus of 80%. You can rate yourself 100%, if you got all the 20 questions correct. Be honest. Just write T, if you are convinced the statement is a fact, or write F, if false. KEY: (1- F), (2- F), (3-T), (4-T), (5-T), (6-F), (7-T), (8-T), (9-F), (10-T), (11-T), (12-T), (13-F), (14-T), (15-T), (16-T), (17-T), (18-T), (19-F), (20-T)


There are 17 or 18 known species of penguins and all are interesting. It puzzles the imagination why they can’t fly despite their wings. They live in desolate and cold places of the earth. One of them the Emperor penguins thrive in no other place but the Antarctica. It is a wonder how they can survive the coldest winter temperature at – 89.2 degrees centigrade. Particularly, the Emperor penguins are the largest of the species; they breed and lay eggs during winter time. Each Emperor female penguin lays only one egg and its equally interesting to know who incubates the egg and how the female penguin lays her egg without a nest because- unlike others- Emperor penguins don’t build nest. Penguins are great swimmers and divers. They can catch fish under floating ice. Researchers say they have amazing swimming speed and dive thousands of feet underwater to catch fish, silverfish, squid and krill for food.

How penguins keep their body temperature constant (Cool Antarctica)

  1. Overlapping densely packed feathers make a surface almost impenetrable to wind or water.
  2. To retain heat, penguins may tuck in their flippers close to their bodies.
  3. A layer of fat is insufficient so penguins must remain active while in water to generate body heat.
  4. Cold climate penguin species usually have longer feathers and thicker fat than those in warmer climates.
  5. The feathers in their back which are dark absorb heat from the sun, so helping them to warm up.
  6. The emperor and king penguins can reduce contact with the icy surface to reduce heat loss.
  7. Emperor and king penguin chicks and adults huddle together to conserve heat. Up to 6,000 male emperor penguins will huddle together while incubating their eggs.
  8. Emperor penguins can recapture up to 80% of the heat escaping through their breath.
  9. Penguins can cool down by moving to shaded areas and by panting like dogs do.
  10. Penguins break up the insulating air layer next to the skin, so releasing the warm air and cooling them down.
  11. They can increase their heat loss by holding the flippers away from the body to release heat.
  12. The Humboldt and African penguins don't have feathers on their legs and have bare patches on their faces where excess heat can be lost.
  13. To conserve heat, blood flowing to the flippers and legs transfers its heat to blood that is leaving the flippers and legs.
  14. When body becomes too warm, blood vessels in the skin get wider (dilate) bringing heat from within the body to the surface, where it can be lost.

Why do penguins prefer to live in the Antarctica which is of all places on earth the most desolate, the cruelest place being the coldest. Why don’t the find other pleasant places like other migrating birds? The answer I think is they were purposely made by God to make the Antarctic a little lively. Being born there, they have no other choice but to prepare and hone themselves ready to fight the kind of arctic life required of them.

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      no.its not fair that members only can meet him eailsy(every special penguins)so i hate gary nowadays and some special penguins exept rockhopper and sensei(i love then,i also met them.Climmer: Aw. Too bad you didn't get to meet him. Maybe someday, Gary will visit everyone even non-members!

    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      Mike, I like your idea. You may elucidate or clarify the rules of the game for participants to understand. If you wish to, you may write a hub or article about the game or contest you would like to suggest about pinguins here in this site.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hey, I sincerely liked all the ideas evroyene gave. I wish club penguin could organize something that can signify this contest. Like hiding the pirate treasure which only friends can find and whoever finds the treasure 1st, will get some amount of money or some valuable item. In this way penguins will send friend invitations to other penguins so they can have many opportunities in finding the treasure.

    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      Audrey Baker: No. 9 is a question, female emperor penguins weigh more than males ___, which is answerable by T or F. The correct answer for this question is F as can be seen from the key provided.

      Thanks for the visit.

    • Audrey Baker profile image

      Audrey Baker 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      Penguins are such a neat animal. It's a bit interesting the females weigh more than males. I didn't realize they dove so far. Fascinating!


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