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Eggs on Ice It’s tough enough for adult emperor penguins to survive the cold. It’s even tougher for their eggs and chicks. At breeding time, the birds leave the sea.

T ey waddle far inland. T ey need a safe place to lay their eggs. Here, there are no predators. Yet the environment is even harsher than it is by the sea. T ere’s neither food nor anything to build a nest with. And it’s winter, the coldest time of year. It’s also time for a female emperor to lay an

egg. She carefully catches it on her feet. If it touches the ice, the chick inside will freeze to death. Laying an egg takes a lot of energy. T e female needs to eat. She needs to go back to the sea. T e journey there and back can take two months. She can’t take the egg with her. So she gently pushes it onto her mate’s feet. T en the female leaves. T e male stays. He

cares for the egg. He holds it between his feet and belly. He doesn’t eat. He barely moves. With luck, the chick survives. It hatches.

T en it’s time to teach the newest emperor penguin how to survive in its icy world.

The Smallest Penguin A father penguin keeps his chick warm.

Not all penguins are big. Meet the fairy penguin. It’s also called a little blue penguin. This penguin is small enough to fi t in your hands. Unlike other penguins, fairies often fl ock together at sea. This helps keep these small birds safe from big predators.


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