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Aptenodytes patagonicus

The king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is a large species of penguin, second only to the emperor penguin in size. It lives in the Southern Ccean—on Kerguelen Islands, Crozet Island, Prince Edward Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands, and Macquarie Island in the Subantarctic.

This species eats small fish, mainly lanternfish, and squid. That said, they are less reliant on krill and other crustaceans than most Southern Ocean predators. On foraging trips, king penguins repeatedly dive to over 100 metres (300 ft). They can even dive as low as 300 metres (1,000 ft).

Large and imposing, the king penguin stands at 70 to 100 cm (28 to 39 in) tall and weighs from 9.3 to 18 kg (21 to 40 lb). Males are slightly larger than females.

These aquatic birds breed on subantarctic islands between 45 and 55°S. Their range lies in the the northern reaches of Antarctica, as well as Tierra del Fuego, the Falkland Islands, and other temperate islands of the region.

Currently, the total breeding population is about 2.23 million pairs. The largest breeding populations are on the Crozet Islands, with around 455,000 pairs; 228,000 pairs on the Prince Edward Islands; 240,000–280,000 on the Kerguelen Islands; and over 100,000 in the South Georgia archipelago. Macquarie Island has around 70,000 pairs.

Their non-breeding range is unknown since vagrant birds may be found as far away as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

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