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Word Count: 680
Did you ever wonder how emperor penguins could swim in the water so long Thats because they have a layer of fat under their skin to keep them warm To find out more things youve always wondered about emperor penguins read on The emperor penguin scientifically called Aptenodytes forsteri is the largest of all living penguins It is about 37 feet high and weighs from 60-90 pounds A large head short neck and slender body make up this birds structure It stands upright when it is on land because its webbed feet are set far back on the body It also has a tail that is short and has 14 to 18 stiff feathers The backs of these creatures are bluish-gray instead of being black like other penguins The only other living penguin that shares this trait is the king penguin Shiny short and broad feathers overlap each other to cover the penguins skin These feathers closely spaced keep the water away from the birds skin when it is swimming in the cold sea Emperor penguins have more feathers than any other kind of bird with about 80 feathers per square inch Once a year Emperors shed their feathers This process is called molting This usually happens after breeding season Molting is an essential function because feathers wear out during the year During this process the new feathers grow in pushing the old feathers out But the old feathers do not fall out until the new feathers are properly in place The molt makes the penguin look patchy and fluffy During the molt the penguin loses most of its insulating and waterproofing capabilities so it cannot go in the water Because the penguin cannot go in the water it cant get its food At the time of the molt the penguin has to fast But before the molt the emperor builds up a thick layer of fat which provides the bird
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