In Photos: The Emperor Penguin's Beautiful and Extreme Breeding Season

Coming out

emperor penguins

(Image credit: BBC America)

As the summer sun melts their icy home, the chicks begin to molt their downy feathers, and their sleek adult plumage grows in. Nearly grown, these young penguins will spend the next few years at sea before returning to breed and raise their own young.

Kimberly Hickok
Live Science Contributor

Kimberly has a bachelor's degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a former reference editor for Live Science and Her work has appeared in Inside Science, News from Science, the San Jose Mercury and others. Her favorite stories include those about animals and obscurities. A Texas native, Kim now lives in a California redwood forest.