Emperor Penguins Need Cooling Off In Winter!

Emperor Penguins Need Cooling Off In Winter!

Emperor penguins huddle for warmth during the deep Antarctic winter. However, new research has found that they only stay in a huddle for about 50 minutes on average.

Male emperor penguins are often portrayed standing alone, stoically resisting the icy blasts to keep a single egg warm while their mate hunts for food.

But these regal birds actually gather in huge social huddles in the Antarctic winter to keep warm. And why wouldn't they? Temperatures during the dark months on the southern ice can hit minus 40 degrees C.

A new study has shed light on the complex huddling behaviour of these animals, with some surprising results.

Despite the bitter cold, a study published in Animal Behaviour this week shows that on average these huddles only last about 50 minutes. And when they do break up they do so rapidly – within two minutes.  What is driving this behaviour? Heat!

To learn more about this fascinating behaviour click here.