The Emperor Penguin

The Emperor Penguin lives in the extreme environment of Antarctica, and is one of the most committed and dedicated parents in the animal kingdom. The mother lays just a single egg, which is promptly transferred to the father so the mother can begin an arduous journey in search of food — a journey that can last almost 2 months across up to 70 miles of frozen abyss with minus 76 degree temperatures, fierce winter storms and predators.

While the mother searches for fish in cracks in the ice, the father won’t eat but only cares for the egg as he rests it between his feet. He keeps it warm by hunkering over the egg with his pouch, and forming a tight huddle with the other fathers to shield the group from the fierce winter winds. This group “cuddle” will be the key to the egg’s — and the father’s — survival. If the egg was exposed to the frigid temperatures for even a few seconds, the embryo would not survive.

Once the mothers return, they’re faced with a group of hundreds of fathers and newly hatched chicks. The mother communicates her unique sound upon her return, and her chick will single her out. Once reunited, the mother penguins promptly regurgitate the fish stored in their stomachs to feed the chicks, and the fathers leave for their own long journey to eat.

The Emperor Penguin is the only animal that breeds in the frozen Antarctic winter and through this incredible nursing process, this species continues to thrive. We’re inspired by the Emperor Penguin and its tireless quest to nurture and care for their families and their young.