There is definitely no mistaking the colourful emperor penguin and standing over a metre tall they are the largest in the family. These Antarctic specialists endure the worst breeding conditions of any bird. Travelling to nesting sites in March there is intense competition between the females for a mate followed by a necessarily brief courtship.

After a single egg is laid the females return to the sea for some well earned nourishment, only returning when the chicks begin to hatch. This leaves the males to incubate the eggs in the most extreme winter weather the planet has to offer. Emperor penguins are excellent swimmers but on land they either shuffle along or slide about on their bellies.

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