Scientific name: Aptenodytes patagonicus
Size: King penguins stand about 30 inches tall
Location: Islands surrounding Antarctica
What Do They Eat? King penguins like fish and squid
Main enemies: Leopard seals, killer whales and predatory birds
photo by nao-cha
King penguins look much like their cousins, the Emperor, but their markings provide a colorful differentiation between the two. Bright orange-yellow patches circle their years, and their chest has a bright splash of orange. The King penguin is almost as tall as its cousin, the Emperor, and many people often mistake the two breeds, because they look so much alike.
photo by geohaps
Millions of King penguins live in the cold waters and region of Antarctica. They breed and live on many islands, though they do not generally travel great distances. A funny thing about King penguins is that they don’t hop like their cousins, but they can actually run on their feet. Of course, they can’t run very fast, and it may look a little funny, but they do cover quite a bit of ground in this manner.
Another interesting thing about King penguins is that they don’t build nests like many of their cousins. Believe it or not, after they lay an egg, they place the egg on their feet, tucked beneath their bellies. They carry the egg on their feet like this until the baby hatches. Even after that, the babies remain on their feet, which can be quite comical to watch as they walk and move about. Did you ever tried to sit on your mother or father’s feet while they were trying to walk? This is exactly what the baby penguin does. The mother or father penguin walks very slowly in order to make sure that the egg or the baby penguin does not fall off!
King penguins like to live on the beach or on land that is not covered in snow or ice. They like to be close to one another, but when they do want to be alone, they may slap their flipper or give someone a sharp peck with a beak. Don’t try that at home!