There species in the genus Aptenodytes. Its specific

There are estimated seventeen or eighteen
penguin species in the world, the emperor penguin is the largest among
them. It is unique and beautiful bird and its name was given as, Aptenodytes
forsteri. It is the species in the
genus Aptenodytes. Its specific name is in honor of
the German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster
(Wienecke, 2009). Emperor penguins molting,
breeding patterns, behavior and thermoregulation are unique. At the
extreme low temperature in the arctic
winter, few species survive. They are the only animal species to inhabit
Antarctica open space. Emperor penguins have excellent reserve of insulating
body fat and have multiple scaled feathers, thus prevents heat loss. They are
very sensitive to the changes in sea ice concentration due to global warming.
Therefore, any alteration in the sea ice temperature is hazardous the species. Penguins, including emperor penguins play important roles
in ecosystems both in the ocean and on land. 

This literature review focuses on the molting, breeding
pattern of emperor penguins; their morphologic features and characteristics, behavior
and adaptation to cold, mechanisms of shedding of their feathers, huddling
activity, energy sources and thermoregulation will be reviewed.

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Penguins serve as food for others,
such as leopard, seals and seabirds, and foxes. If penguins, including Emperor Penguins are decreased in number in the world, the predators will
not get food; therefore, ecosystems will be affected. Warming arctic continent,
oil spills, fish industries are hazardous the penguin population. Detailed
understanding and studying the penguins is needed, as these species are
endangered.  A complete and detailed knowledge about
penguins and their ecology is required. Of all the penguins, emperor penguins have a high survival rate, thus
understanding and knowledge of their total breeding population, molting,
adaptation to cold might be helpful and critical to their future survival.

Features
and characteristics of Emperor Penguin:

            The seventeen or eighteen types of penguins worldwide (Subramanian
et al., 2013) include Emperor
penguin, King penguin, Adelie penguin, Chinstrap penguin, Gentoo penguin, Rockhopper
penguin, Erect-crested penguin, Macaroni penguin, Fiordland penguin, Snares
penguin, Royal penguin, Yellow-eyed penguin, African (jackass) penguin, Galapagos
penguin, Humboldt penguin, Magellanic penguin, and Little (blue) penguin.

            Emperor
penguins may be recognized by black color on the back, bright white on the
front and yellow or orange feathers around their necks and heads. They are the tallest
with an average height of about 4 feet. The body weight of the
adult emperor penguins ranges from 50 to 100 pounds (Williams et al., 1995). Research on the fossils showed that Antarctic
peninsula is the home for a giant penguin (Roberts et al, 2017).  During the arctic winter, they are the only
animal species to inhabit Antarctica open space, where temperature can drop to
as low as -60°C. One of the important characteristic of emperor penguin, is
that they choose to live in the most secluded, coldest and windiest places of
the earth during the season of 24-hour darkness. Their body is specially
adapted to survive the harsh climate: a good reserve of insulating body fat,
multiple layers of scale-like feathers, proportionally smaller beaks and
flippers; thus, prevent heat loss. Their arteries and veins are situated close
together allowing them to recycle their own body heat.  These penguins can
travel up to about 50 miles to reach stable breeding grounds on the thick
Arctic ice. Their aerodynamic bodies and strong flippers make them excellent
swimmers, reaching speeds of 3.4 m/s. (Freeman, J., 2015). Emperor penguins
can stay underwater for over 22 minutes at a time and can dive a long distance
to hunt for food. They have been found to have an increased ability to store
oxygen, the ability to tolerate low levels of oxygen and the ability to
tolerate the effects of pressure.

            Most
emperor penguin have the living colonies on the ice-shelves (Fretwell et al.,
2014). The average lifespan of emperor penguin is typically 20 years in the
wild, even though they live in very extreme conditions where the cold could be
unbearable for most animals living on this planet. Although the average life
span is about 20 years, many scientists estimated 1% of emperor penguins
hatched might go to 50 years. Although the survive
about 20 years, the highest number of the emperor penguin population consists
of five years and older (Trathan et al., 2011).  

            Fretwell et al (2012) estimated the
population of emperor penguins (Aptenodytes fosteri) using a single
synoptic survey. Using a combination of medium resolution and Very High
Resolution (VHR) satellite, they examined the whole continental coastline of
Antarctica imagery to identify emperor penguin colony locations. To separate penguins
from the snow, shadow and guano, they used an image technique with VHR to analyze
the remotely sensed images. Actual counts of penguins from eleven ground
truthing sites were used to convert these classified areas into numbers of
penguins using a robust regression algorithm. Fretwell et al (2012) researched and
estimated at least 46 breeding colonies of emperor penguins. They calculated to
be more than 200,000 breeding pairs. Based on their published values, they
estimated to a total population of about 600,000 adult birds (Fretwell et al,
2012).   

The
emperor penguin feed mostly on Antarctic silverfish, but sometimes other fish,
and some species of squid. When they need to build up their store of fat,
before a molt or at the beginning of breeding season, the food quantity
ingested is doubled. The penguins are near the top of the Southern Ocean’s food
chain and have few natural predators on land due to the hostile conditions of
their habitat. Other birds like the Southern Giant Petrels often prey upon
Emperor Penguin chicks. When they return to the ocean, adults are preyed upon
by Killer Wales and Leopard Seal.

Molting:

            Like many wild mammals and birds,
prolonged periods of feeding and fasting is normal phenomenon of life in
penguins. The fasting period goes on due to unavailability of food. During
winter season, feeding competes with other activities, such as survival
priority, for example, molting, reproducing and migrating.