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Jeromy Shald 3/8/07 P-4 Mr. Hoovestol Cultural Geog.

Geography Research Paper Essay

Penguins in Antarctica

The Emperor Penguin is the biggest penguin in the species. The Emperor Penguin is the only one that breeds during the winter and can live up to 40 years old but usually lives until around 20. The Emperor Penguin is closely related to the Royal Penguin and the King Penguin but is much larger. The Emperor Penguin has one of the harshest lives in the world because of their ability to survive intense cold. The males and females each have their own distinct call and are similar to the King and the Chinstrap Penguin. Emperor Penguins have a thick layer of down to keep them warm in the extreme cold. The Huddles can have thousands of Penguins all in the same huddle. The Penguins are very social and look different from each other in different social groups. They do many things such as feeding and searching for food together. They live near the ocean and can dive up to 200 meters in the water. There are approximately 150,000—200,000 Emperor Penguins in the wild today. The temperature is 58 degrees below 0. Antarctica used to be a dense forest. Penguins live on the driest windiest, coldest planet on earth. The emperor penguin makes his home in the sea but leaves at the

same time each year to embark on a journey. He will walk with hundreds and thousands of other penguins. It is march and is the mating season for them. There breeding ground can be up to 70 miles away. Sometimes they will march for weeks. Many of the Penguins die. They have been migrating for over thousands of years. The penguins live in a dense Iceland covered with flat snow and small jagged hills cut with ice. When the Penguins get tired of walking they will slide on there bellies and a use them as a raft on the ice. After a while the whether gets colder and starts to decrease. Soon the Penguins will find other groups going in the same direction and merge up with them. The Penguins all head to the same spot every year where they will breed. They penguins mate with one partner every year. The male penguins will then try to find their mates. As winter starts the penguins huddle up in groups to keep warm. Many of the days will have no night at all and some will be dark all day long. Soon the Penguins give birth to the egg. Some of the eggs die because of the one second exposure to the bellow zero temperature. The mother and the father then practice giving the egg back and forth to each other. The mother will then go find food while the father keeps the egg warm underneath a patch of skin on his belly. He will do this deed with no food for two months. The mother exhausted leaves to find food in the barren wasteland. The father by time the mother returns will have had no food for more than 125 days through temperatures of negative 80 degrees with winds that can reach up to 100 miles per hour all for the Penguin chick. The penguin group will move around so as to keep warm and to not freeze. The penguins will switch places with other penguins in the group from the inside to the outside to keep

themselves warm. At the same time the mothers march 70 miles to where they started to get food at the ocean. The female penguins will try to find an opening in the ice so they can eat. When the Penguins find and opening they will eat their fill of fish and krill. The males at the same time while watching their young will slowly die. Some of the older Penguins will die because they can not take it. The females return back to the mating grounds around July. It is dark for days on end during this time. The chick will start to hatch and crack. The fathers have not eaten in over 4 month and are starving. There chick is starving too but will die if the females do not arrive in time. The male secretes a milk substance out of his thought to feed the chicks for one day. The chicks and the male’s life depend on when the females arrive. Finally the females arrive and are greeted by the males and chicks. The females give off a unique sound so that they can find them and the male will respond telling where there mate is in the thousands of penguins. The males and the females exchange chicks and the fathers head off to find food the same as the mothers did. The fathers will then walk 70 miles back to the sea with less than half there body weight on them. The chicks will then be fed by their mothers and will grow. The chicks will learn how to walk and will explore the area. It is much warmer at this time of the year making it possible for them to not freeze. Many of the mother’s chicks will die in the cold and she will sometimes than try to steal another ones chick. The mother and child will bond for weeks. The chicks have soft coats of fur that will eventually grow into blubber and fat. The fathers and mothers constantly switch off between getting food and watching the young. The young will grow stronger while the ice starts to melt. The

penguins will now return to the sea to swim. They will learn to swim and start a new life. The penguins will then live in the sea for 4 years and then will return to mate and start again.