A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than was previously thought.

Researchers reported this week how they used images from the European Commission’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite mission to locate the birds.

They found 11 new breeding colonies, three of which were previously identified but never confirmed. That takes the global census to 61 colonies around the continent. Yay...we love penguins!


Emperor penguins are the largest of all the different kinds of penguin. On average they measure115cm tall– about the height of the average six year old.

Around April every year (the start of the Antarctic winter) emperor penguins meet to breed on the thick Antarctic ice. By the time the female lays her egg (usually around June), she”s worked up a big appetite! She passes the egg to the male before journeying up to 80km to the open ocean where she can feed her hungry tummy on fishsquid and krill.

These birds are super swimmers and impressive divers. They can reachdepths of over 500m and stay underwater for up to 22 minutes!


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