Emperor penguins care for their eggs differently than many other animals by having the male take on the majority of the nurturing. After the female emperor penguin lays a single egg in June, she leaves the land to escape the harsh winter conditions to live at sea and hunt until coming back home just prior to the birth.
During the female’s time away, the male emperor penguin takes care of the egg on its own for approximately nine weeks. He provides warmth to the egg with a makeshift insulation system in which he keeps the egg on his feet and shields it with his abdominal skin. After the egg hatches, the female regurgitates the fish she consumed while away to feed her chick.
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