Emperor Penguin Courtship and Breeding
Courtship rituals vary throughout animals. The rituals of the Emperor Penguin are extremely interesting and provide a glimpse into the different habits of animals. Breeding season for these penguins start in March and April when most travel more than 50 miles inland to look for a mate. Emperor Penguins are considered to be serial monogamous, which means they are "married" and there is an extremely high percentage that if they find their mate the following year, they will mate with the same as the previous. When the males start their mating call, they produce a sound that is recognized by their mate. If the female does not hear their call out of the thousands of male choices, then there is a likelihood that the female will find another male.
The Emperor Penguins call last about 2 seconds. Once the call is made, he will move around the crowd and keep calling until he finds a mate. Once a potential partner is in sight, they will stand in front and mirror each others posture. They will then walk around the crowd, female following the male until they face and bow to one another before copulation.
Once the female penguin lays her one egg, she will roll the egg carefully to the male and he will store it in his brood pouch which acts as an incubator. Now, the females will leave their egg and mate and return to the sea for months looking for food. Sacrificing food for a little over 100 days in order to hatch the egg. Finally, the female arrives with food for the newly hatched egg either when it has recently hatched or up to 10 days after. Now, it is the males turn to fast for another two weeks in his search for food. Since it is now late July to August, much of the ice and snow has melted and makes it a shorter journey for the male gathering food. He will then return to his mate and hatchling and share the brooding and feeding with his mate. After a couple of months after hatching, the parents stop feeding the baby penguin and he is now responsible for gathering his own food.
Emperor Penguin Breeding Video
Posted by Ryan Dulmaine (4)