Emperor Penguins Habitat

Emperor Penguins Habitat

The Emperor penguins habitat is limited to the Antarctic and the surrounding sea, and unlike many other penguin species the Emperor penguins can rarely be found anywhere else in the world (unless they have been transported by man). The Emperor penguin is a marine bird, and it will only hunt in the ocean. It uses the Antarctic continent as a breeding ground since their offspring need hatch and to grow sturdy before it can venture into the ocean. The breeding grounds for Emperor penguins are often referred to as rookeries. The courting birds will try to find a spot sheltered by an ice cliff in the Emperor penguins habitat, and use this as a breeding ground. The female Emperor penguin will lay her egg in May or June during the severe Antarctic winter when the ocean around the Emperor penguins habitat is still frozen. It is however important that the penguins select a breeding ground several miles inland, since the ice will start to melt before the chick is ready to venture into the ocean. The male will incubate the egg for around 65 days, and even after the hatching the chick needs to stay on land and be feed by its parents.

Antarctica, the continent on which you will find the Emperor penguins habitat, is located at the southern extreme of planet Earth and contains the South Pole. The Emperor penguins habitat is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. The Antarctic mainland is divided into two parts by the Transantarctic mountain range. In the Emperor penguins habitat you will find and impressive collection of extreme conditions. On average, Antarctica is the not only the coldest, but also the driest, highest and windiest of all the continents. 98 percent of the Emperor penguins habitat is covered in ice, but since the annual precipitation is extremely low, Antarctica is technically a desert. It is in fact the largest desert of them all. Antarctica comprises 14 million square kilometres (almost 5,500,000 square miles), while Sahara only covers approximately 9 million square kilometers (almost 3,500,000 square miles).

The Emperor penguins habitat is a harsh one where only a few sturdy and cold-tolerant species manage to survive. The Emperor penguins share their habitat with a few other penguin species, seals, sea birds, lichens, mosses and many different algae species. The Emperor penguins have developed fascinating anatomic features that help them to survive in the unforgiving Emperor penguins habitat. Its entire body shape is actually an adaptation to the Emperor penguins habitat, since it is carried low to the ground, a style which decreases the amount of cold air that can circulate around it. The plumage is unusually thick and contains around two dozen feathers for every square inch. These feathers can trap a lot of insulating air since they are short and stiff, closely overlap each other and have a downy base. The size of the nasal passages of the Emperor penguin has been reduced to a minimum in order to leak as little heat as possible.    

The Emperor penguins habitat contains no traditional human settlements, only scattered scientific bases. The Emperor penguins habitat is still comparatively unharmed by man, but our activities do affect the life of the Emperor penguin. Pollution and over fishing can naturally be harmful to the Emperor penguin population, and increased activity in the polar region could therefore be dangerous for these animals. The same is true for pollution that gradually finds its way to the polar region, e.g. by begin accumulated in the food chain, or over fishing in other parts of the world that has an impact on the polar underwater fauna.  

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