A. patagonicus Skull Replica or King Penguin measures 8.2 inches. King Penguin Skull Replica is museum quality polyurethane cast. 2-part skull (separate cranium and jaw). Made in USA.
The King penguin (A. patagonicus) is the second largest species of penguin. They appear very similar to the larger, closely related emperor penguin, with a broad cheek patch contrasting with surrounding dark feathers and yellow-orange plumage at the top of the chest.
The King penguin stands at 28 to 39 in. tall and weighs from 21 to 40 lb. Although female and male king penguins are monomorphic they can be separated by their calls. Males are also slightly larger than females.
The King penguin is able to breed at three years of age. The average age of first breeding is around 5–6 years. King penguins are serially monogamous. They have only one mate each year, and stay faithful to that mate. However, fidelity between years is less than 30%. The unusually long breeding cycle probably contributes to this low rate.
The King penguin has an extremely prolonged breeding cycle, taking around 14–16 months from laying to offspring fledging. Although pairs will attempt to breed annually, they are generally only successful one year in two, or two years in three in a triennial pattern in South Georgia.
The A. patagonicus or King Penguin reproductive cycle begins in September to November, as birds return to colonies for a prenuptial moult. Those that were unsuccessful in breeding the previous season will usually arrive earlier. They then return to the sea for around three weeks before coming ashore in November or December.
The female penguin lays one pyriform (pear-shaped) white egg weighing 2/3 lb. It is initially soft but hardens and darkens to a pale greenish color. It measures around 3.9 in × 2.8 in.
The egg is incubated for around 55 days with both birds sharing incubation in shifts of 6–18 days each. A. patagonicus or the King Penguin balances the egg on its feet and incubates it in a “brood pouch”.
Hatching may take up to 2–3 days to complete and chicks are born with a thin covering of down, and are entirely dependent on their parents for food and warmth.
The guard phase begins with the hatching of the chick. Similar to the emperor penguin, the young King penguin chick spends its time balanced on its parents’ feet, sheltered in the brood pouch formed from the abdominal skin of the latter.
During this time, the A. patagonicus or King Penguin parents alternate every 3–7 days, one guarding the chick while the other forages for food. The guard phase lasts for 30–40 days. By then the chick has grown much larger and is better able to both keep warm and protect itself against most predators.
King chicks are very curious and will wander far when exploring their surroundings. The chicks form a group, called a crèche and are watched over by only a few adult birds.
Most parents leave their chick in these crèches to forage for themselves and their chick. Other species of penguins also practice this method of communal care for offspring.