Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Sphenisciformes > Spheniscidae > Aptenodytes > Aptenodytes forsteri

Aptenodytes forsteri (Emperor Penguin)

Wikipedia Abstract

The emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching 122 cm (48 in) in height and weighing from 22 to 45 kg (49 to 99 lb). The dorsal side and head are black and sharply delineated from the white belly, pale-yellow breast and bright-yellow ear patches. Like all penguins it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat.
View Wikipedia Record: Aptenodytes forsteri

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 17.2393
EDGE Score: 3.59672


Adult Weight [2]  74.63 lbs (33.85 kg)
Birth Weight [3]  425 grams
Female Weight [2]  65.04 lbs (29.50 kg)
Male Weight [2]  84.22 lbs (38.20 kg)
Weight Dimorphism [2]  29.5 %
Female Maturity [5]  5 years
Male Maturity [5]  5 years 6 months
Diet [4]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Fish [4]  90 %
Diet - Invertibrates [4]  10 %
Forages - Underwater [4]  100 %
Clutch Size [3]  1
Incubation [1]  64 days
Maximum Longevity [1]  20 years
Migration [1]  Intracontinental
Speed [6]  4.65 MPH (2.08 m/s)
Water Biome [1]  Pelagic, Coastal


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Southern Indian Ocean Islands tundra South Africa, France, Australia Antarctic Tundra    

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Palmer LTER Site Long Term Ecological Research   Antarctica    


Prey / Diet

Abyssorchomene rossi[7]
Alluroteuthis antarctica[8]
Antarctomysis ohlinii[7]
Chaenodraco wilsoni (Spiny icefish)[9]
Chionodraco hamatus (Crocodile icefish)[7]
Chionodraco myersi (Myers' icefish)[10]
Cygnodraco mawsoni (Mawson's dragonfish)[10]
Cyllopus lucasii[7]
Dacodraco hunteri (Crocodile icefish)[9]
Dissostichus eleginoides (Patagonsky klykach)[11]
Dissostichus mawsoni (Antarctic blenny)[11]
Electrona antarctica (Lanternfish)[12]
Electrona carlsbergi (Electron subantarctic)[10]
Epimeriella macronyx[7]
Euphausia crystallorophias (ice krill)[7]
Euphausia frigida[10]
Euphausia superba (Antarctic krill)[11]
Eurythenes gryllus[10]
Eusirus microps[7]
Eusirus perdentatus[7]
Filippovia knipovitchi (Smooth Hooked Squid)[10]
Gerlachea australis (Antarctic dragonfish)[9]
Gigantocypris muelleri[10]
Gymnodraco acuticeps (Ploughfish)[12]
Gymnoscopelus braueri (Lanternfish)[10]
Gymnoscopelus nicholsi (Nichol's lanternfish)[10]
Gymnoscopelus opisthopterus (Lanternfish)[10]
Hyperia macrocephala[7]
Hyperiella macronyx[7]
Kondakovia longimana (Giant Warty Squid)[8]
Krefftichthys anderssoni (Anderson's lanternfish)[10]
Neopagetopsis ionah (Jonah's icefish)[7]
Ningaui yvonnae (Southern Ningaui)[10]
Notolepis coatsi (Antarctic jonasfish)[12]
Onykia ingens (warty squid)[11]
Pagetopsis macropterus (Crocodile icefish)[10]
Pagetopsis maculatus (Crocodile icefish)[10]
Pagothenia borchgrevinki (Bald notothen)[7]
Paradiplospinus gracilis (Slender escolar)[10]
Pleuragramma antarctica (Antarctic silverfish)[7]
Protomyctophum bolini (Lanternfish)[10]
Salpa thompsoni[10]
Themisto gaudichaudii[10]
Thysanoessa macrura[10]
Trematomus bernacchii (Emerald notothen)[10]
Trematomus eulepidotus (Blunt scalyhead)[10]
Trematomus hansoni (Striped rockcod)[10]
Trematomus lepidorhinus (Slender scalyhead)[9]
Trematomus loennbergii (Deepwater notothen)[10]
Trematomus newnesi (Dusky notothen)[7]
Uristes gigas[7]
Vibilia antarctica[10]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Aphrodroma brevirostris (Kerguelen Petrel)1
Aptenodytes patagonicus (King Penguin)2
Arctocephalus gazella (Antarctic Fur Seal)6
Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Minke Whale)3
Daption capense (Cape Petrel)2
Diomedea epomophora (Royal Albatross)2
Diomedea exulans (Wandering Albatross)3
Eudyptes chrysolophus (Macaroni Penguin)3
Fulmarus glacialoides (Southern Fulmar)3
Garrodia nereis (Grey-backed Storm Petrel)1
Halobaena caerulea (Blue Petrel)2
Hydrurga leptonyx (Leopard seal)1
Lagenorhynchus cruciger (Hourglass Dolphin)1
Larus dominicanus (Kelp Gull)1
Leptonychotes weddellii (Weddell Seal)4
Lobodon carcinophaga (Crabeater Seal)5
Macronectes giganteus (Southern Giant Petrel)2
Macronectes halli (Northern Giant Petrel)1
Megaptera novaeangliae (Humpback Whale)4
Mirounga leonina (Southern Elephant Seal)3
Oceanites oceanicus (Wilson's Storm-Petrel)1
Ommatophoca rossii (Ross Seal)2
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)1
Pachyptila belcheri (Slender-billed Prion)2
Pachyptila desolata (Antarctic Prion)1
Pachyptila salvini (Salvin's Prion)1
Pachyptila turtur (Fairy Prion)2
Pagodroma nivea (Snow Petrel)4
Phoebetria fusca (Sooty Albatross)1
Phoebetria palpebrata (Light-mantled Albatross)3
Physeter macrocephalus (Sperm Whale)2
Procellaria aequinoctialis (White-chinned Petrel)1
Pygoscelis adeliae (Adelie Penguin)9
Pygoscelis antarcticus (Chinstrap Penguin)1
Pygoscelis papua (Gentoo Penguin)3
Stercorarius maccormicki (South Polar Skua)4
Sterna vittata (Antarctic Tern)1
Thalassarche chrysostoma (Grey-headed Albatross)4
Thalassarche melanophris (Black-browed Albatross)4
Thalassoica antarctica (Antarctic Petrel)3


Hydrurga leptonyx (Leopard seal)[11]
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)[11]
Stercorarius maccormicki (South Polar Skua)[10]


Parasitized by 
Austrogoniodes mawsoni[13]
Contracaecum prevosti <Unverified Name>[14]
Parorchites zederi[14]
Tetrabothrius wrighti[14]

Range Map



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Marchant, S.; Higgins, PJ (eds.) 1990. The handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds, Vol. 1., ratites to ducks. Oxford University Press, Melbourne
3Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
6Alerstam T, Rosén M, Bäckman J, Ericson PGP, Hellgren O (2007) Flight Speeds among Bird Species: Allometric and Phylogenetic Effects. PLoS Biol 5(8): e197. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050197
7Food of emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica, Y. Cherel and G. L. Kooyman, Marine Biology (1998) 130: 335-344
8CephBase - Cephalopod (Octopus, Squid, Cuttlefish and Nautilus) Database
9The role of notothenioid fish in the food web of the Ross Sea shelf waters: a review, M. La Mesa, J. T. Eastman, M. Vacchi, Polar Biol (2004) 27: 321–338
10Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
11Who's Eating Who
12A balanced model of the food web of the Ross Sea, Antarctica, M.H. Pinkerton, S.M. Hanchet, J. Bradford-Grieve, CCAMLR Science, Vol. 17 (2010)
13Species Interactions of Australia Database, Atlas of Living Australia, Version ala-csv-2012-11-19
14Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Images provided by Wikimedia Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access