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Kings of the Southern Ocean: 9 Delightful Facts About the King Penguin

Generous, athletic, caring, and gregarious — with all their charms, it's no wonder King Penguins often serve as the quintessential image of the black and white bird.

These dapper, distinguished birds are much more than feature film fodder, though and boast some pretty impressive features.

In no particular order, here are our nine favorite facts about the King Penguin:

Sharing is Caring

King Penguins have no problem sharing their territory with other penguin species including Gentoos, Magellans, and Royals.

Healthy Appetites

Adult King Penguins can eat upwards of 400 fish per day.

Hearty Stature

Second in height only to Emperor Penguins, the King Penguin can reach heights from 31 to 35 inches. Average weights range from 26 to 35 pounds.

Noteworthy Beaks

While Emperor Penguins beat them in height, King Penguins have the most massive beaks in the whole family of penguins.

Crazy Chicks

Early Antarctic explorers concluded that King Penguin chicks were a separate species because they looked completely different than the black and white masses. They called them woolly penguins.

Birds of a Feather

Once King Penguin chicks gain some independence, they band together to form a crèche where they can keep warm and divert predators. Outside the animal kingdom, a crèche is a nursery where babies and young children are cared for during the working day.

Home is Where the Heart Is

Among nature's minimalists, King Penguins don't build nests. Eggs are carried and protected at all times.

Whenever You Call Me

King Penguin couples find each other within crowded and noisy colonies by recognizing the frequency each other's vocalizations out of thousands of others. Awwww. Parents also identify their chicks by their calls.

Deep Dive

To find food, King Penguins can dive to depths of 300 to 900 feet. They can spend several minutes underwater looking for fish, squid, and small crustaceans.

Where to See Them

King Penguins flock to many areas of Antarctic region including the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

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