God made the Emperor Penguin. The Emperor Penguin is the largest penguin in the world--it's about three feet tall and weighs up to 100 pounds! God made them so beautiful. Click here to see a big picture of these fabulous birds. Emperor Penguins live in the Antartic and swim in the coldest sea in the world.
The Emperor Penguin can hold its breath for 15 to 20 minutes and lives an average of 15-20 years. The Emperor Penguin is a flightless bird. That means that it cannot fly. Instead of wings, it has small flippers that help it to swim very fast. The flippers are strong enough to break a person's wrist. The Emperor Penguin eats lots of fish and krill in order to fatten up for its long trip to its mating grounds. Mating grounds are the places where animals go to have their babies.
One of the most remarkable things about the Emperor Penguin is its mating cycle. When it is time for breeding season, Emperor Penguins travel up to 60 miles inland. Sometimes they walk upright and look like little people wearing tuxedos. Sometimes they travel on thier bellies. Scientists do not know how they find their way to their mating grounds, but I do--God made the penguin and He gives them instructions on where to go.
After the Emperor Penguins get to their mating grounds they mate and the female lays a single egg. She then gives the egg to the father and leaves. The egg sits on top of the father's feet and under his brood flap. The brood flap is a loose piece of skin which covers the egg and holds it next to the father's body--kind of like an upside down kangaroo pouch. The father Emperor Penguin then incubates the egg.
It is very cold while the father Emperor Penguins incubate their eggs. They stand in a tight huddle (about 10 big penguins per square yard) for 2-3 months straight! The fathers don't eat anything, they just eat a little snow for moisture. They lose almost half of their body weight while they stand in the cold, dark air patiently waiting for the eggs to hatch. Every once in a while, the fathers will reach down and turn their eggs over to make sure that they don't freeze. Because the father Emperor Penguins stand so close together, they conserve half of the body heat that they would lose if they didn't have others around.
As many as 1,000 Emperor Penguin fathers gather in a big huddle to brace themselves against the bitter cold winds as they incubate their eggs. If a person was out there without the proper clothing, the Antartic winds would cut through their skin and they would be dead within minutes. God made the Emperor Penguin so that he could withstand these harsh temperatures which can get down to minus 68 degrees farenheit. That is a lot colder than your freezer!
When the chicks finally hatch they are hungry. Their fathers then regurgitate a white secretion and feed it to the chicks--despite the fact that these fathers have not eaten themselves for four months. It is amazing how the Lord Jesus equips these animals to survive.
After the chicks are born, their mothers come back to take care of them. At first, the fathers don't want to give up the babies, but they eventually do. They transfer the chick from the feet of the father Emperor Penguin to the feet of the mother Emperor Penguin. They have to be very careful when they transfer the chick, because if he falls on the ground for more than a few minutes, he will die. After the mother has the chick, the father Emperor Penguin hurries off to get himself something to eat. Can you imagine going for four months without eating? People can't do that. We would starve to death.
The Emperor Penguin is a fascinating bird that God made. God loves all the little animals and takes care of them by providing them with food, water, shelter, survival skills, and the companionship of other animals. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
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