Group of fledging emperor penguin chicks
 - Aptenodytes forsteri

Emperor penguins

Not all emperor penguin chicks are lucky enough to see the sea this close when they are so young. Sometimes the ice doesn't break up full or at all and causes problems for the parents to get back to feed the chicks and so many of them starve.

It can be a curse as well as a blessing though. Some years the sea-ice breaks up early and the chicks are stranded on floes floating out to sea, if this happens while the parents are out fishing, then again the chicks will starve. They can't swim until they have lost all of their juvenile down and have developed their full adult plumage, but this lot look like they're going to make it as they're nearly half way through their moult.

The penguins with their beaks open are panting to lose heat.

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This picture by Jerome Maison. © 2005 Bonne Pioche Productions / Alliance De Production Cinematographique.
From the Warner Brothers film The March of the Penguins used here by permission of Warner Brothers.