The Taxonomy of an Emperor Penguin
By Ms. Rowland

*This is an example of what your taxonomy project could look like*

What is Taxonomy?

Taxonomy is the study of classifying organisms. There are 7 levels of taxonomy, each more specific than the last. These levels are called Taxon and they include Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.

Each organism is named using a 2-part naming system: the genus and the species

Taxonomy of an Emperor Penguin

Taxonomic Levels of an Emperor Penguin:

Kingdom: Animalia- These organisms are multicellular and eukaryotic. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move around on their own. These organisms must eat other organisms for survival, making them heterotrophic.

Phylum: Chordata- Organisms in this phylum have a spinal cord and vertebrate at some point during their life.

Class: Aves- Aves is the scientific term for birds, so all the organisms in this class are winged, two-legged animals. They are also known for laying eggs, bodies covered in feathers, and a strong skeleton with a four chambered heart.

Order: Sphenisciformes- This order contains aquatic flightless birds. These organisms live in the Southern Hemisphere, primarily in Antarctica. Most organisms in this order feed on krill, fish, squid, and other small sea life.

Family: Spheniscidae- These organisms are found only in Antarctica.

Genus: Aptenodtyes- Meaning "without feather or wings" this genus contains two species of penguins known as "the Great Penguins"

Species: forsteri- The tallest and heaviest of the penguins, the Emperor Penguin is native to Antarctica. These birds have stream lined bodies and webbed feat. They bred in colonies and primarily eat fish.

Where is the Emperor Penguin found?

The Life of an Emperor Penguin

" Emperor penguins spend their entire lives on Antarctic ice and in its waters. They survive—breeding, raising young, and eating—by relying on a number of clever adaptations.

These flightless birds breed in the winter. After a courtship of several weeks, a female emperor penguin lays one single egg then leaves! Each penguin egg's father balances it on his feet and covers it with his brood pouch, a very warm layer of feathered skin designed to keep the egg cozy. There the males stand, for about 65 days, through icy temperatures, cruel winds, and blinding storms.

Finally, after about two months, the females return from the sea, bringing food they regurgitate, or bring up, to feed the now hatched chicks. The males eagerly leave for their own fishing session at sea, and the mothers take over care of the chicks for a while.

As the young penguins grow, adults leave them in groups of chicks called crèches while they leave to fish. There is a reason for the timing of emperor penguins' hatching. By December, when the Antarctic weather has warmed somewhat, the ice the penguins occupy begins to break up, bringing open waters closer to the nesting sites. Now the chicks are old enough to take to the seas and fish for their own food." - Nat Geo.

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