Emperor Penguins The Fascinating Emperor Penguins Among the numerous different species of birds in the world one particular type stands out from them all.
The emperor penguin reigns as one of the most interesting and unknown birds in scientists’ minds. The way that they conform and blend into the Antarctic environment, even during the harshest condition, underlines the uniqueness of these spectacular creatures. Scientists have been captivated by the amazing reproductive lives of the Emperor penguins, who live and behave in a way unlike any other animal in the world. Emperor penguins have baffled researchers and scientists for many years because of their unusual methods of mating amongst each other in extreme and some times harmful weather conditions.Under normal circumstances any other animal would not be able to survive in the extreme weather conditions that surround the penguins.
Antarctica, where the penguins call home, is the coldest environment known on the earth. (Oeland 56) The breeding of the penguins begins in March when the ice is just beginning to harden underneath. During this time, scientists have been mystified at the audacity of the penguins to stay in the south as opposed to leopard seals and Adelie penguins that travel northward to warmer conditions.
But, even though the penguins themselves make get chilled, they keep their chicks at a nice warm temperature.The eggs and chicks are incubated at a steady 98.8 degrees farenheight, and if a newborn chick is out of the parents’ warmth for more than two minutes it can freeze to death. These harsh conditions intensify the danger and mystery of the penguins. The most interesting aspect of the Emperor penguins is their unique mating style that sets them apart from any other animal in the world.
The entire process begins with a weeklong “courtship” session during the coldest months of the year. Unlike almost all other species of animals, the female initiates the mating process as opposed to the male penguin. Any type of communication carried on between the male and female is strictly audible.
The penguins rely heavily on their acute sense of hearing and speech.The actual mating sequence occurs in the dead of cold, which astonishes many scientists and researchers. After the fertilization is through the female lays softball sized egg, and leaves to go search for food for two months. It is then the duty of the male penguin to incubate and warm the small egg while it matures and grows. The Emperor penguins are a fairly new species of animals that scientists have found and researched.
Their technical, scientific name is referred to as Aptenodytes Forsteri.(Oeland 62) They tend to stick together during the incubation period, as few as 100 and as many as 60,000 male penguins have been seen together warming their young. While they are keeping the offspring warm they huddle together in these large groups to combine and trap body heat that each penguin generates. During this “huddle” the penguins have been noticed to shuffle around, moving in and out of the circles to give others time away from the wind. These male penguins sit on the eggs, without moving great distances or lengths, for a complete sixty-five days waiting for the females to return.
This means that the male penguins must store up enough body fat to last them for the entire two months that they are incubating.The Emperor penguins have the same body temperature as a human, but their temperature with the fur is the same as a human wearing twenty-two pounds of clothing. Unlike the humans though, the mature mating age for an emperor penguin is four years. After two months of faithful and constant warmth from the paternal side of the baby chick it is hatched into the world.
Usually the mother arrives with a food supply for the chick at the same time of its birth. Unfortunately, due to the harsh weather conditions only 90% of all eggs hatch, which is remarkably impressive under the circumstances.In December, the parents again leave their babies and head out to gather more food. This leaves the chicks to fend for themselves for the time being. But, normally the chicks are always found to be in penguin “day cares” or crches.
When the parents arrive back from gathering food, they go around to each crche and use their vocal strengths to identify their chick amongst the others. After four years of being with the parents, they are able to mate and begin the mating process that their parents participated in years before. Only the chicks must leave how to survive on their own because their parents never provided them with adequate skills to protect themselves from predators.But, the Emperor penguins always tend to survive no matter what.
Researchers have found an extreme interest in these amazing creatures for several different reasons. Scientists are amazed at the idea that a creature can survive in the coldest environment on the planet for such a long period of time without moving great distances or hunting food. Ann Bowles of the Hubbs-Sea World Institute in San Diego believes that “compared with other marine birds, emperor penguins have everything backwards.
” (Oeland 56) These birds are looked upon as issuing a new behavioral pattern among Antarctic animals of their kind. So far, though, not that many groups of new Emperor penguins have been found, when new group is found the discovery is tremendous news in the field.How long these birds will be able to survive in the chilling Antarctic conditions is unknown.
But, there are several things that are known about these triumphant animals. The emperor penguins have been able to guide researchers and scientists into a world of understanding and questioning as to the penguins unique reproduction methods. The techniques and survival methods of the penguins have guided scientists onto a new path of exploration. But, overall, the emperor penguins have opened a new door into the unknown of Antarctic creatures.Animal Science.