Emperor penguins care for their eggs differently than many other animals by having the male take on the majority of the nurturing. After the female emperor penguin lays a single egg in June, she leaves the land to escape the harsh winter conditions to live at sea and hunt until coming back home just prior to the birth.
During the female’s time away, the male emperor penguin takes care of the egg on its own for approximately nine weeks. He provides warmth to the egg with a makeshift insulation system in which he keeps the egg on his feet and shields it with his abdominal skin. After the egg hatches, the female regurgitates the fish she consumed while away to feed her chick.
More about emperor penguins :
- Penguins are the only warm-blooded animals on Antarctica, and they are able to withstand frigid temperatures of -76°F (-60°C).
- During winter, male emperor penguins typically sleep for at least 20 hours a day to conserve their energy and reduce their need for food.
- Emperor penguins are the largest type of penguin – they can stand up to 3.8 feet (1.15 m) and weigh 88 pounds (40 kg).