Seeking Antarctica’s Huddled Masses: Humans Make First Contact with Emperor Penguin Colony [Slide Show]

Explorers venture into uncharted territory to help scientists map Antarctica’s emperor penguin population from space
1 of 8

One that didn't make it:

A dead penguin chick lies in the snow. Although emperor penguins are not an endangered species (there are an estimated 600,000 in Antarctica), global warming could shrink their icy habitat.....[ More ]

Posing with the Emperors:

Princess Elisabeth Antarctica’s Soete is part of an international team of scientists and researchers that spend four months of the year at the polar research station in order to study the movement of Antarctic ice caps and glaciers.....[ More ]

Expedition leader:

Alain Hubert led the first group of humans to visit the colony in December 2012.....[ More ]

Keep close for warmth:

Emperor Penguins survive Antarctica’s freezing winters (where temperatures can dip below 45 degrees C) by huddling together in tightly packed clusters. The penguins slowly rotate positions in the huddle so that no one penguin has to be on the outside of the pack for too long.....[ More ]

All ages:

Adult and chick emperor penguins stand together. The colony is one of seven large groups of emperor penguins that were first discovered by scientists at the British Antarctic Survey in 2009.....[ More ]

Seaside view:

A group of emperor penguins stand together near the East Antarctic coast. With an estimated 4.5-degree Celsius temperature rise across the continent over the last 50 years, Antarctica is one of the fastest warming regions of the globe.....[ More ]

Chilling under a midnight sun:

Thousands of emperor penguins group together on an icy Antarctic plain. Alain Hubert, expedition leader for the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica station, chief mechanic Kristof Soete and Swiss mountain guide Raphael Richard arrived at the never-before-visited colony a little before midnight.....[ More ]

Harsh Country:

Polar explorer Alain Hubert and researchers from Antarctica’s Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Station use skidoos to reach a remote emperor penguin colony with 9,000 members on Antarctica’s Ragnhild Coast early last month.....[ More ]

risk free title graphic

YES! Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. If I like it, I will be billed for the one-year subscription.

cover image Subscribe Now
Share this Article:

Give a Gift &
Get a Gift - Free!

Give a 1 year subscription
as low as $14.99

Subscribe Now! >


Email this Article