Among the numerous different species of birds in the world one particular type stands out from them all. The emperor penguin reigns as one of the most interesting and unknown birds in scientists’ minds. The way that they conform and blend into the Antarctic environment, even during the harshest condition, underlines the uniqueness of these spectacular creatures. Scientists have been captivated by the amazing reproductive lives of the Emperor penguins, who live and behave in a way unlike any other animal in the world.
Emperor penguins have baffled researchers and scientists for many years because of their unusual methods of mating amongst each other in extreme and some times harmful weather conditions. Under normal circumstances any other animal would not be able to survive in the extreme weather conditions that surround the penguins. Antarctica, where the penguins call home, is the coldest environment known on the earth. (Oeland 56) The breeding of the penguins begins in March when the ice is just beginning to harden underneath. During this time, scientists have been mystified at the audacity of the penguins to stay in the south as opposed to leopard seals and Adelie penguins that travel northward to warmer conditions. But, even though the penguins themselves make get chilled, they keep their chicks at a nice warm temperature. The eggs and chicks are incubated at a steady 98.8 degrees farenheight, and if a newborn chick is out of the parents’ warmth for more than two minutes it can freeze to death. These harsh conditions intensify the danger and mystery of the penguins.
The most interesting aspect of the Emperor penguins is their unique mating style that sets them apart from any other animal in the world. The entire process begins with a weeklong “courtship” session during the coldest months of the year. Unlike almost all other species of animals, the female initiates the mating process as opposed to the male penguin. Any type of communication carried on between the male and female is strictly audible. The penguins rely heavily on their acute sense of hearing and speech. The actual mating sequence occurs in the dead of cold, which astonishes many scientists and researchers. After the fertilization is through the female lays softball sized egg, and leaves to go search for food for two months. It is ...
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... amazing creatures for several different reasons. Scientists are amazed at the idea that a creature can survive in the coldest environment on the planet for such a long period of time without moving great distances or hunting food. Ann Bowles of the Hubbs-Sea World Institute in San Diego believes that “compared with other marine birds, emperor penguins have everything backwards.” (Oeland 56) These birds are looked upon as issuing a new behavioral pattern among Antarctic animals of their kind. So far, though, not that many groups of new Emperor penguins have been found, when new group is found the discovery is tremendous news in the field.
How long these birds will be able to survive in the chilling Antarctic conditions is unknown. But, there are several things that are known about these triumphant animals. The emperor penguins have been able to guide researchers and scientists into a world of understanding and questioning as to the penguins unique reproduction methods. The techniques and survival methods of the penguins have guided scientists onto a new path of exploration. But, overall, the emperor penguins have opened a new door into the unknown of Antarctic creatures.
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