King Penguin: Description, Habitat, Eating Habits

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King penguin: description, habitat, eating habits

Description and habitat

Reaching heights of almost three feet (one meter), the king penguin is one of the largest penguins in the world, only surpassed by the closely related emperor penguin. Their brands resemble those of the emperor penguin (black back with white and orange and yellow in the head and neck), but the two species generally do not have overlapping distributions. Emperor penguins spend the whole year in Antarctica, while the king penguins live in groups of sub -antarctic islands and in southern South America. The king penguin is the largest penguin outside the Antarctica.

Eating habits

King penguins are forage predators who feed mainly with fish (but occasionally they take squid) in shallow waters near their nesting sites. It is known that many predatory sea birds capture young king penguins, while leopard seals, orcas and other large predators are the only species that normally eat adults.

Although they feed in the marine environment, the king penguins look away and nest in rocky coasts during the summer of the southern hemisphere, when both the male and the female remain faithful to their partner for at least one nesting season. About a third of all people remain faithful to the same couple for several years. Each father participates in the incubation of a single egg, turning to rest the egg on their legs while the other father feeds. After hatching, parents continue to take care of youth for about a year. During this time, youth depends on their parents to feed, heat and protect themselves from predators.


With populations seemingly to increase, it has been determined that the king penguin is a species that is not at risk of extinction, so it does not need protection. It does not depend on ice to nest (such as Antarctic penguins) and generally does not live in places with significant local human impacts (such as South American or African penguins). And it does not depend on Krill and other dams that are vulnerable to overfishing and climate change (like many other southern ocean predators). However, it is important to continue studying the king penguins and monitor their populations to ensure that any future negative tendency is discovered early and managed accordingly.

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