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Antarctic Postcard from the Field: Visitors to the Cape - Windows to the Universe

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   Image courtesy of Jean Pennycook/Penguin Science

From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, Antarctica, December 8, 2007

Visitors to the Cape

Cape Royds is the nesting ground for over 2000 breeding pairs of Adelie Penguins. The only other Antarctic penguin, the Emperor, does not make a nest. Instead Emperor Penguins keep the eggs warm by holding them on their feet for two months. This way they can raise their chicks out on the ice and do not need to find land. The Emperors also start their breeding cycle in May and the chicks are fledged by December. These Emperors have come to Cape Royds for a visit; they will not stay long. As you can see the Emperors (50-70 lbs) are much larger than the Adelies (12-15 lbs). Besides their size, one other difference is the way they walk. The Emperors walk slowly with their wings tucked at this side. The Adelies walk quickly with their wings out to the side. From a distance this is one way to tell them apart.

Learn more about life in the polar regions.

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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2007

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