How big are emperor penguins?

Emperor penguins are the biggest members of the penguin family, standing at 120 centimetres (four feet) tall, roughly the height of a five year old child. They can weigh up to 45 kilograms (100 pounds) and lay eggs the length of a human hand.

Females leave the eggs to the males to raise while they go on a two-month feeding frenzy, and males do not eat during the incubation period. Females return full of food to regurgitate for the hatched chicks, who need to gain as much insulating weight as possible.

Newly hatched emperor penguins weigh only 300 grams (11 ounces) and snuggle up to their parents feathery feet to keep warm in the -60 degree winds. Once they have gained 50 per-cent of their adult weight, they leave their parents to become part of the colony.


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