It’s World Penguin Day! These flightless, aquatic birds have waddled their ways into people’s hearts with their unique characteristics. There are more than 15 species of penguin—but today we’re going to take a closer look at the King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus). This bird is one of the largest in its family, second only to the Emperor Penguin. Many King Penguins congregate on South Georgia, an island in the south Atlantic near Antarctica (pictured), where colonies can include several hundred thousand breeding pairs! To protect their eggs and, once they hatch, small chicks from the cold, King Penguin parents carry them on their feet, under a fold of belly skin that keeps them at adult body temperature. Females and males take turns watching over the offspring.
Photo: Amanda B