Big bird facts

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This week at Mawson: 30 August 2013
Emperor penguins are the biggest of all penguins.

Emperors are so big they have to mate at the beginning of winter as there is not enough time in the short Antarctic summer for the chicks to grow into sea-going adults.

The females then return to the sea, leaving the eggs with the males who hold them on top of their feet to keep them off the ice.

The male Emperors cannot feed for four months. All they can do while waiting for the females to return is endure the most demanding of conditions on earth and maybe watch the southern lights. Then the females will return allowing the males to venture to the sea for a feed.

Emperor penguins in a group, ice in the background
Emps lining up for a group photo shoot
(Photo: Peter Cubit)
Two emperor penguins touch their beaks together
Just a friendly chat
(Photo: Peter Cubit)
Two emperor penguins, each with a chick tucked ebtween heir  feet, like they are chatting about their children.
Post-natal parent child discussion group
(Photo: Peter Cubit)
An emperor penguin bends down to check the chick snuggled between its feet
Parent and bub
(Photo: Peter Cubit)
Emperor penguin, with one close and showing the white chest and black beak and chin.
Close up, showing true colours
(Photo: Peter Cubit)
Emperor penguin stares at the camera, with a threatening beack
The photo is OK, but don't mess with us
(Photo: Peter Cubit)
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