To listen to this article, please select Control + Shift + Z to launch the pop-up player.

Browser out-of-date!

You are using an out-of-date web browser, to avoid problems when using A-Z Animals and other sites we strongly recommend you upgrade to the latest version of your web browser!
Get Firefox Get Google Chrome Get Opera Get Microsoft Internet Explorer Get Apple Safari
Remove Advertising
A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources

Animals >>

King Penguin


 Add to Phobia Filter  Contribute  Print  Listen
King Penguin parent and a chick at South Georgia Island
King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus), Falkland Islands.
King Penguins and Southern Elephant Seal at South Georgia Island
king penguin chick. South Georgia
A king penguin at Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland.
The king penguin is the second largest species of penguin in the world, with adult king penguins growing to nearly a metre in height. There are two recognised sub-species of the king penguin found throughout the sub-Antarctic, with more than 2 million breeding pairs thought to be dotted across the rocky islands (a number which appears to be increasing).

The king penguin is found inhabiting the rocky islands in parts of the Antarctic Ocean, with the geographical location being one of the main differences between the two king penguin sub-species. King Penguins breed on the sub-Antarctic islands, at the northern reaches of Antarctica, as well as around the Falkland Islands, and other temperate islands of the region.

The king penguin is one of the most elegant of all penguin species as it's long and slender body helps the king penguin to glide through the water with great ease. The bright-yellow markings on the head and neck of the king penguin are characteristic of this penguin species.

King penguins have adapted well to the extreme living conditions of the Antarctic and, to keep warm, the king penguin has four layers of feathering. King Penguins have 70 feathers per every square inch. The outer layer of feathers are oiled and waterproof, and the inner three layers are down feathers, which act as very effective insulation as the bitter cold.

The king penguin is a carnivorous animal, that like all other penguin species, survives on a diet that is only comprised of marine animals. Krill and small crustaceans make up the bulk of the king penguin's diet along with larger organisms including squid and various species of fish.

Due to the fact that they inhabit quite uncompromising regions, king penguins have no natural land-based predators. However, larger marine animals that also inhabit the freezing waters of the Antarctic Ocean will prey on these water-based birds, with leopard seals, sharks, humans and killer whales being the main predators of the king penguin.

On average, the king penguin breeds once a year, forming pairs that usually remain faithful to one another. The female king penguin lays two eggs which are incubated by both parents for about two months, when only one of the eggs will usually hatch. The king penguin chicks are fed and kept warm by their parents and remain with them until the chicks are about a year old.

Today, the king penguin populations in the sub-Antarctic Oceans appear to be thriving and better still increasing in numbers with more than two million breeding pairs of king penguins found around the freezing waters.


King Penguin Comments (5)

DWG

"KING PENGUINS ARE AWESOME!"

Chandler

"I really enjoyed this info on the king penguin"

kenzie

"they also protect there selfs from sea birds such like Skua "

Showing 3 of 5 comments.

Show More Comments

Post Comment

Your Name:

Article Rating:

Your Comment:


Article Tools

Print Article
View printer friendly version of King Penguin article.
 
Listen to Article
Listen to audio version of King Penguin article. Hot key: CTRL key + Shift key + Z key

King Penguin Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Aves
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Sphenisciformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Spheniscidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Aptenodytes
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Aptenodytes Patagonicus
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Bird
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Carnivore
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
60cm - 90cm (24in - 35in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
11kg - 16kg (24lbs - 35lbs)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
15 - 20 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Colony
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Black, White, Grey, Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Feathers
Favourite Food:Krill
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Rocky Antarctic Islands
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
1
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Krill, Fish, Shrimp
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Leopard Seal, Killer Whale, Sharks
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Large body size with yellow markings on head

Related Animals

Adelie PenguinAdelie Penguin
Eats up to 2kg of food per day!
African PenguinAfrican Penguin
The only penguin species in Africa!
Chinstrap PenguinChinstrap Penguin
There are 7 million breeding pairs!
Crested PenguinCrested Penguin
Has long yellow eyebrows!
Emperor PenguinEmperor Penguin
The world's largest species of penguin!
Galapagos PenguinGalapagos Penguin
Found around the Equator!
Gentoo PenguinGentoo Penguin
Found throughout the sub-Antarctic!