It is now autumn in Antarctica and the emperor penguins’ breeding cycle is beginning. There is a long winter ahead of them but male penguins will be busy preparing to become dads in the summer.
During April, when the breeding season for the Emperors begins, each female can produce a single egg. The job is then taken over by males, who will be guarding the eggs for the upcoming months, while the females spend the winter in the open ocean.
Each egg needs to be incubated for 65 days so the male penguins will do their best to keep them warm when the outside temperatures drop to nearly -40 degrees. They can go without food for so long that they are left with half their body weight when the females return in August.
From then, the females take the lead and males go into the ocean. The babies grow rapidly and are independent by December.