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Emperor Penguins

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These tuxedoed wattlers are Emperor Penguins. You may know it, but these semi-aquatic birds are some of the most dedicated parents in the animal kingdom. I mean, would you be willing to do what they do? spend 65 days huddled here in this penguin pack, in temperatures that can drop to 112 degrees below zero? With winds of 15 miles an hour? Even Green Bay Packers football fans don't have it this bad. Fortunately, these big birds have evolved dense feathers and a thick layer of body fat. The remarkable thing is: the one who incubates the egg in a brood-pouch is... dad. Meanwhile, mom goes off to sea looking for food. Even after the baby is hatched, it's dad who keeps the baby in the brood-pouch. Good thing, too. Just two minutes in the elements, and the chick would be a goner. Once mom comes back, she and dad take turns heading out for more food. Since they aren't mammals, they can't feed their babies with milk. Instead, they have to make long, often arduous treks to fishing holes, where they can be faced with huge, hungry, up to 1300-pound leopard seals. Once the coast is clear of predators, the penguins dive deep and look up to find fish swimming just under the ice. They are impressive predators, and equally impressive at evading predators. Then, back at the rookery, the parent finds its own chick by voice recognition. Parent calls, and baby answers. Once they are reunited, baby gets to chow down on regurgitated fish. As the baby grows up, mom and dad eventually hunt for its nourishment together. So, remember that huge, seemingly anonymous group of Emperor Penguins? Well, groups like that are made up of committed parents working in tandem. Great parents. Lucky kid.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 48 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: National Geographic
Director: National Geographic
Views: 115
Posted by: greenbo on Mar 29, 2010

Possibly the most devoted parents in the world!

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