Emperors are uniquely adapted to survive these harsh conditions when temperatures can drop down to a bone chilling -50°C and with winds of up to 200km/hr. They have two layers of feathers, a good reserve of fat and proportionally smaller beaks and flippers than other penguins to prevent heat loss. Emperors also have feathers on their legs, so their ankles don’t get too chilly.
Even their feet are adapted to the icy conditions, containing special fats that prevent them from freezing and strong claws for gripping the ice.
But most remarkably, colonies of adults and chicks work together to huddle for warmth. 5,000 or more tightly packed adults and chicks shuffle around, so each takes a turn - but not too long - on the outside of the huddle where it’s cold. This is in complete contrast to their quarrelsome and territorial neighbours, the Adélie penguins.