And we think we’ve got it hard! Emperor penguins breed during the long, Antarctic winter. Once an egg is laid, the female penguin begins a long search for food, which can sometimes take up to 50 miles over a two-month period! The male penguin stays behind to protect the egg, which he keeps on his feet, covered with a feathered flap. He doesn’t eat anything the entire time, and some fathers lose up to 25 pounds. Once the egg hatches, the male feeds the chick a special liquid from his throat. When the mother penguin returns with a belly full of food, she regurgitates to feed her new chick. And the male emperor is relieved of duty, off to find food and some much-needed rest.
One more emperor penguin fact: They can dive up to 1,850 feet — more than any other bird — and stay under water for more than 20 minutes.