Fun King Penguin Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Oct 20, 2022 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam
King penguin facts include all the details you need to know about these magnificent creatures.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.6 Min

King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) live up their names as they are considered kingpins of penguin families, conquering it as the second largest in the penguin family. They are of vivid colors like orange and are categorized by a long bill and an upright body.

They have black feathers on their back and white on their body. They are usually found in cold regions like sub Antarctic regions and prey on squids and other fishes.

They breed twice in three years and give birth to one baby in around two years. They are the species of penguin with the least concerns about their conservation.

King Penguin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a king penguin?

A king penguin (aptenodytes patagonicus) is a medium-sized species. It is the second largest of the penguin family.

They are flightless birds residing in the southernmost hemisphere. They are of vivid color and are unique because of their long bill and upright body. (Aptenodytes patagonicus) king penguin species have an orange color teardrop-shaped mark on both sides of their face that stretches till their chest.

What class of animal does a king penguin belong to?

Penguins fall under the class of birds (Aves). They are back and white with vivid orange color on their face. They are flightless birds and are usually found in cold regions like the subantarctic islands. They are the second largest of the penguin family. There are two subspecies of king penguin, AP Patagonicus and AP Halli.

How many king penguins are there in the world?

The king penguins are ranked as least concerned. There are about one to two million breeding pairs across the world and this number seems to have been increasing. However, there are traces of poaching.

Where does a king penguin live?

The majority of the penguin population is concentrated in Antarctica. However, the largest population of the king penguin is found outside of Antarctica.

King penguins live in sub Antarctic island groups. King penguin species are also found in southern South America. The Patagonicus subspecies is found in South Georgia, Falkland Islands, South Sandwich Islands and the Halli subspecies is found in the South Indian Ocean.

What is a king penguin's habitat?

A king penguin’s habitat can be described as an environment with the least human interference. They usually spend their time in the oceans, hunting and looking for food like squids and other fishes. However, their primary habitat is sparsely vegetated areas in the islands. These are mostly located in the southern ocean and the sub Antarctic.

Who do king penguins live with?

King penguin colonies are usually huge colonies and come together during the mating season. Approximately 100,ooo penguins come to shore during this time.

How long does a king penguin live?

This species of penguin can live up to a maximum of 26 years in the wild and can live for about 41 years if held captive.

How do they reproduce?

King penguins are known to have a much longer breeding season as compared to any other penguins. Their breeding cycle lasts for about 13-16 months. The female emperor penguin transfers an egg to the top of the mates’ feet.

The female then goes to the ocean to hunt while the male incubates the egg. She then comes back after several weeks before the egg is ready to hatch.

She relieves her mate so he can feed the cute little king penguin chicks. They usually lay eggs from November to April. They don't build nests like other birds but incubate their eggs under their feet.

What is their conservation status?

King penguins have been categorized under the 'Least Concern' category by the IUCN. Their number is increasing steadily, and there are about one million to two million breeding pairs of king penguins currently.

King Penguin Fun Facts

What do king penguins look like?

King penguins are the second-largest in the penguin family. They are of vivid colors like orange. They have black wings and a white body. They have a teardrop-shaped orange mark on both sides of their head, which stretches towards their chest.

They have two types of coats, namely the fat coat and the feather coat. The fat coat is several centimeters thick and protects the penguin from the cold. They are also unique because of their long bill and upright posture.

King penguin have an orange mark on their bodies and stay in colonies.

How cute are they?

King penguins are very cute, especially the way they walk. It looks as though the penguin is performing a dance step. They also have vivid colors that make them look unique.

How do they communicate?

They communicate with the help of physical behaviors, which are called displays. Vocal displays are also used to convey a message.

How big is a king penguin?

The king penguin is the second largest in the penguin family. Their upright posture makes them look even taller. They are about 34-38 in tall and weigh approximately 20.5-37.5 lb.

How fast can a king penguin fly?

The penguins are flightless birds. But can swim at an average of 5-10 kilometers an hour. On the ground, these penguins are walkers.

How much does a king penguin weigh?

The average weight of a male king penguin is about 20.5-37.5 lb, and the female penguins are much lighter.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names based on sex. King penguins are referred to as male king penguin and female king penguin.

What would you call a baby king penguin?

They are either called a juvenile king penguin or a chick.

What do they eat?

They usually eat small fishes like squids from the oceans.

Are they dangerous?

Penguins are very lovable and adorable creatures. They are not very dangerous unless their territories are intervened. There are certain instances where the penguins have left small bite marks on humans.

Would they make a good pet?

No, it is not possible to keep a king penguin as a pet. They require a specific temperature to survive, which cannot be attained at home.

Did you know...

King penguins have the longest breeding cycle of about 13-16 months as compared to other penguins.

The water king penguin is on the emblem of a zoo in Scotland.

King penguins don't build nests but carry their eggs on top of their feet.

The king penguin's mating process

King penguins have the longest breeding cycle of about 13-16 months. The female penguin lies on the ground, and the male penguin climbs on her back and walks from her tail.

The female then lifts her tail to let the male penguin insert his reproductive organ. The sperm is then transferred. After the female lays eggs, the incubation period is alternated between the mother and the father.

King penguin VS. emperor penguin

The king penguins are often compared to emperor penguins. They are also mistaken for emperor penguins as they almost behave the same way. The body parts of both the penguins are identical.

However, the king penguins are a little smaller and do not weigh as much as emperor penguins. King penguins also have vivid colors that help them stand out. The orange patches on the king penguin’s face are more vibrant as compared to the stripes on the emperor penguins.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our king penguins coloring pages.

antarctica South Georgia and other temperate islands of this region

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

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Spandana KantamBachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Acharya Nagarjuna University. She has a passion for writing and enjoys reading crime and thriller novels while listening to RnB music in her free time.

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