King Penguin
King Penguins at Salisbury Plain (5719466981)
Scientific Name
Aptenodytes patagonicus
3 Feet
40 pounds
11 to 16 kg (24 to 35 lb)
15 to 20 years
Falkland Islands
South Georgia

Snowy Sheathbills
Leopard Seals
Killer Whales
Fur Seals
The king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is the second largest species of penguin at 70 to 100 cm tall and weighs 11 to 16 kg (24 to 35 lb). In size it is second only to the emperor penguin.


In the Real WorldEdit

The King Penguin is very large compared to other species. It is the second largest of them all. Full grown, they can be up to three feet tall and weigh up to 35 pounds. King Penguin males are generally taller and weigh more than the females. There is no denying the overall beauty of this particular penguin. Their tall and slender build gives them a type of posture and movement that you usually don’t see with other penguins.

The body is a dark black and grey mix all down the back. They have dark yellow on their bill and the back of the neck. They also have this yellow color on the front as the bit of black there gives way to the rest being all white.

There are quite a few locations out there where the King Penguin is able to call home. Most of them are found in the sub Antarctica region. Other locations include the Falkland Islands, Prince Edward Islands, and Southern Georgia. Smaller numbers of them are scattered throughout both New Zealand and Australia. King Penguin Diet The King Penguin definitely consumes plenty of meat items daily. They enjoy feeding on krill, small fish, squid, and a variety of crustaceans. King Penguins primarily like to consume a type of fish called lantern fish but they will eat other things if they can’t find enough of it in their habitat. King Penguins are known to dive more than 900 feet in order to gain access to the food source that they really want and they can spending around 5 minutes submerged.

The process of reproduction takes place for the King Penguin between 3 and 6 years of age. They breed from September to November. While some pairs successfully breed each year, most of the time a new partner is found each year for this purpose. The females won’t always be successful with mating. It is common for them to only do so with success two out of every three years. Those that didn’t reproduce offspring the previous year are often seen to arrive at the mating grounds before the rest the following year.

When mating is successful, the female will lay only one egg. It takes between 50 and 60 days for the incubation to be completed. Both of the pair will take turns, generally in 5-22 days intervals, protecting the egg and keeping it warm. The parents will feed the young partially digested fish for the first 16 months of life. This is long enough for the top layer of oily feathers to emerge which allows them to hunt for food on their own.King Penguin Conservation

Conservation efforts aren’t needed for the King Penguin as they are for some other species. There are more than 2.2 million of them found in the world. The number of them continues to increase as well which means they are doing just fine in their natural environment. Research also shows that the King Penguin has been able to continually adapt to the changing environment around them.

For example they have been able to stay warm in the colder areas by developing up to four layers of feathers. The inner layers are down which is why they are able to provide such a successful barrier from the cold. The outer layer is oily which helps them to move through the water with grace and speed.

The King Penguin has very little human interaction in their natural environment. Some of them are in zoos for educational purposes though. For the most part, the humans interested in them observe from a distance to learn about them without upsetting anything in their habitat.

In the Happy Feet franchiseEdit

In the original Happy Feet script during the Penguin Heaven scene, King penguins appear when they knocked Mumble flat by a sudden rush of Chinstraps, Rockhoppers and Adélie penguins emerging from holes in the rock face. They were scrapped in the final cut along with rockhoppers and replaced by Magellanic penguins and Little penguins.


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