Picture of the Day: The Flying Emperor
In this perfectly timed photo, we see an Emperor penguin leaping out of the water in Antarctica before a crowd of impressed penguins. The wing extension, the facial expression, this fantastic capture was awarded second place in Wikimedia Commons’ Picture of the Year 2014.
The emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching 122 cm (48 in) in height and weighing from 22 to 45 kg (49 to 99 lb). [source]
Like all penguins, it is flightless but the species can remain submerged up to 18 minutes, diving to a depth of 535 m (1,755 ft). The only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter, emperor penguins trek 50–120 km (31–75 mi) over the ice to breeding colonies which may include thousands of individuals. The female lays a single egg, which is incubated by the male while the female returns to the sea to feed. [source]