King Penguin

  • Scientific Name: Aptenodytes patagonicus
  • Date Taken: January, 2001
  • Location: South Georgia
  • Photographer: Howard Cunningham

King Penguins are a species of large, majestic penguins that inhabit the subantarctic islands in the Southern Ocean. They are the second-largest species of penguin, surpassed only by the Emperor Penguin. They stand about 70 to 100 cm (28 to 39 inches) tall and weigh between 11 to 16 kg (24 to 35 lbs). King Penguins are primarily found on subantarctic islands, with large colonies on islands like South Georgia, the Falkland Islands, and other surrounding areas. They prefer ice-free areas and rocky shorelines for breeding and molting. They form large colonies where they come ashore for breeding, often in crowded conditions . King Penguins do not build nests. Instead, they incubate their eggs on their feet, using a warm flap of skin known as the brood patch. Parents take turns incubating the egg and caring for the chick. They feed on fish, squid, and krill. They are skilled and agile swimmers, diving to considerable depths in search of food. They are not considered endangered. However, their populations are vulnerable to environmental changes and human activities. Climate change and overfishing can impact their food sources, and disturbances to their breeding colonies can have negative effects.

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