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Emperor Penguin -- Long Winter Wait

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Uploaded on Sep 21, 2006

Emperor penguins breed in the heart of the Antarctic winter when temperatures reach -60°C -- cold enough to make human skin freeze and teeth crack. They waddle and toboggan for up to 60km across the frozen sea to reach their breeding colonies, where they huddle tightly together to keep warm. After egg-laying, all the females return to the ocean to feed, leaving each male carefully balancing a single egg on his feet, warming it in a special pouch on his belly. The male starves for up to 16 weeks as he waits for hatching, through the endless night of the Antarctic winter -- yet he still manages to feed his newly hatched chick, using a special milk-like substance made by the breakdown of his own body tissue. But will his mate return in time to take over, before his growing hunger forces him to abandon the egg?

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