Emperor Penguins are the largest living penguin species, reaching up to 1.3 m tall. They live all around Antarctica and are sometimes seen around the south of New Zealand and Argentina as vagrants. Exactly where in Antarctica this specimen came from is unknown.

Emperor Penguins were described in 1844. Their species name forsteri is after Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-1798) the naturalist on James Cook's second Pacific voyage (1772-1775). Forster named several other penguin species and was possibly the first person to sight Emperor Penguins in 1773 or 1774.

Emperor Penguin breeding colonies require stable, long-lasting ice making them vulnerable to changes in sea ice conditions. Global warming is a major threat to the species as it will reduce the extent, thickness and persistence of sea ice around Antarctica.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers Emperor Penguins to be Near Threatened.

Specimen Details


Geospatial Information