King Penguin

Aptenodytes patagonicus

King penguins, with a body length of over a metre, are the second largest penguins on our planet after the emperor penguin. They live in rings around Antarctica, where they come together to form large breeding colonies. They feed on fish, crabs and all kinds of other delicacies from the sea.

Strong together

King penguins hunt together in their groups for large schools of fish. They come together here in swarms and snap at everything they come across.

Free Willy? Rather not!

Killer whales are enemies of the king penguins. Apart from the whales, only leopard seals are worth a mention. When it comes to the chicks, it's primarily birds that make life difficult for the parents and child. The southern giant petrel, for example, is responsible for one third of all losses.


  • Origin

    Subantarctic Islands

  • Habitat

    Pack ice, bodies of water in the subantarctic zone

  • Diet

    Fish and crustaceans

  • Status

    approx. 590,000

  • Size

    80 to 95 cm

  • Weight

    approx. 15 kg

  • Breeding period

    1 to 2 months

  • Achievable age

    approx. 20 years

Threat Categories of IUCN

The parents work together

If a female has laid her egg, the father takes it at his feet for the subsequent breeding season and covers it with his belly fold. The mother returns with a large stock of predigested fish mash for the young chick after it has hatched. At that point the male does the strengthening, and afterwards the parents alternate positions.


Penguins don't freeze, do they?

The plumage of the penguin is very fine, extremely dense and they have an insulating layer of air between the feathers. They secrete an oily like substance from their uropygial gland for this purpose, which additionally serves to protect their fluffy plumage from water externally. Should the birds get cold however, they crowd together tightly in their group.

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Opening hours

Today, 17. January
9:00 - 16:30
Last admission: 15:30
Opening hours

Feedings & Trainings

  • No public Animal feeding & training sessions are taking place at this time.


Zoo map


Hardenbergplatz 8, 10787 Berlin

Route (Google)