6/1/2013 10:01:00 AM



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At SeaWorld® Orlando, guests become Antarctic explorers when they step foot into an all-new realm. They’ll be immersed in the sights and sounds of Antarctica, taking an all-family adventure ride to join a colony of more than 200 penguins in their 30-degree world.

A few thrilling and chilling facts about penguins and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.

The Particulars on Penguins

Nearly 250 penguins from four species – king, Adelie, gentoo and rockhopper - live in the brand new, state-of-the-art habitat and adventure at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.


  • Large penguin with a white band on its head.
  • Swim at speeds up to 25 mph, making them the fastest of all penguins.
  • Third largest species of penguin.


  • The largest penguin at Antarctica. Black head, chin, and throat, with vivid orange, tear-shaped patches on each side of the head. The orange coloration extends to the upper chest.
  • Travel in small groups of 5–20 when foraging for food and are known to dive as deep as 1,000 feet.
  • Have the longest breeding cycle of all the penguin species, lasting 14-16 months. They incubate their eggs and chicks on top of their warm feet. Parents take turns incubating the egg.


  • The classic-looking penguin … medium-sized with "tuxedo" appearance.
  • Scientists believe Adelies navigate the ocean using the sun, adjusting for its changing position in the sky throughout the day.
  • Build their nests with stones and are known to steal rocks and pebbles from the nests of neighboring penguins.


  • Easy to spot at Antarctica because of their brightly colored crests and red eyes.
  • To avoid predators, rockhoppers launch themselves like rockets — sometimes leaping nearly three times their height – out of the ocean.
  • Get their common name because they’re often seen hopping from rock to rock on land.

  • Penguins thrive in Antarctica — the coldest, windiest, highest and driest place on the planet.
  • Do polar bears hunt penguins? Nope. They live at opposite ends of the world! All penguins are found in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The penguin’s thick layer of blubber provides awesome insulation against the cold. Their coat of feathers acts like shingles on a roof; overlapping feathers create a surface nearly impenetrable to wind or water.
  • Penguins vocalize and perform physical behaviors called displays. They communicate for some of the same reasons we do — to find family and friends!
  • Penguins dive 450 times a day to find their food and collectively consume 300–400 lbs. of fish each day, including favorites like herring and capelin.
  • Did you know that 20,000 lbs. of fresh snow will fall daily for the penguins living at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin? That’s 10 tons!
  • The lighting in the penguin habitat at Antarctica changes almost daily, according to the light cycle of the Southern Hemisphere.
    • Winter and summer seasons are reversed from the seasons in Orlando.
    • This attention to environmental detail is one of the reasons SeaWorld has one of the world’s most successful penguin breeding programs in the world.
  • Penguins are one of 40 species of birds that are “flightless” - but they are tremendous flyers underwater! Guests can see penguins dive, swim and “fly” underwater from three different underwater viewing levels.
  • Look for the bubble trails left behind by the penguins as they swim through the water. Research indicates that some penguins use air as a lubricant provided by tiny air bubbles released from under their feathers to gain enough speed to leap out of the water and onto the ice shelf.
  • Penguins can adapt to many areas, but they’re no match for global threats like pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction.
  • The Continent of Antarctica

    • The Antarctica ice sheet is the biggest chunk of ice around. Its thickest area is nearly 15,600 ft. deep – that’s about as deep as the highest peak in the Alps!
    • 70% of the world’s supply of freshwater is stored in Antarctica.
    • Like the Sahara Desert, Antarctica receives less than two inches of precipitation a year. Some areas haven’t seen anything even close to a raindrop or snowflake in more than 2 million years!
    • To date, the total number of parties to the Antarctic Treaty stands at 50, representing about two-thirds of the human population. The Antarctic researchers of today stand committed to the same principles that formed the Treaty more than 50 years ago: scientific freedom, multinational cooperation and a deep respect for nature.
    --SeaWorld Orlando--