The temperature at the Antarctic polar circle where penguins live can sometimes be as low as -40oC. The bodies of penguins are covered with a thick layer of fat so that they can survive in such a freezing environment. Besides, they have a highly developed digestive system that is able to break food down very rapidly. These two factors furnish penguins with a body temperature of +40oC that makes them indifferent to cold.
Everything Is for the Young Penguin
Penguins incubate during the polar winter. Furthermore, it is not the female but the male penguins that incubate. Apart from the freezing cold falling down to -40oC, the penguin couples are also faced with glaciers at this time of the year. Throughout winter, the glaciers steadily grow, thereby increasing the distance between the incubation site and the coast, where the closest source of food for the penguins is found. This distance may at times be more than 100 km.
Female penguins lay only one egg, leave incubation to their males and return to the sea. During four months of incubation, the male penguin has to resist violent polar storms at times reaching speeds of 100 km per hour. Because it guards the egg, it has no chance to hunt. In any case, the nearest source of food is at a distance of a couple of days' journey. Lying for four full months without eating anything, the male penguin loses half of its weight, but it never leaves the egg. Although it goes without any food for months, it does not go hunting, but resists the hunger.
After the end of four months when the eggs start to crack open, the female penguin suddenly shows up. In the duration, she has not wasted time but worked for her young and stored food for it.
Among hundreds of penguins, the mother easily finds her spouse and offspring. As the mother has constantly hunted in the meantime, it has a full stomach. It empties its stomach and takes over the job of caring for the young.
In spring, the glaciers start to melt and holes emerge in the ice under which the sea appears. The parent penguins soon start to hunt fish in these holes and feed their young.
Feeding the baby is a tough task; sometimes the parents do not eat anything for a long time in order to feed the young. There is no way to make a nest when everything is covered with ice. The only thing the parents can do to protect their offspring from the ice cold is to put it on top of their feet and warm it with their tummy.
Timing is also very important in laying eggs.
Why do the penguins lay eggs in winter, and not in summer? There is one reason for this: if they had laid eggs in summer time, then the development of the offspring would take place in winter time and the seas would be frozen. In that case, the parents would have difficulty in finding food to feed the young due to the inconvenient weather conditions and due to the fact that the seas, the food resource of the penguins, are further away.
He is Allah – the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him.He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat Al-Hashr, 24)