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Emperors of the South – Photographs by

Emperor penguins are among the most enduring creatures alive. In temperatures as low as minus eighty degrees Celsius, the males go without food for up to four months in total darkness during winter while keeping the eggs warm by placing them between their bellies and their feet. Intrepid photographer Pål Hermansen caught up with them during the Antarctic spring, when the icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov was able to get close to the colony.

“Most of my polar experience is from the Arctic”, said 56 year old Pål “but this was my second time in Antarctica. At the time for my visit, most of the chicks were grown so much that they could make their own way around. But we found a few small ones that still rested on the feet of the parents. This highly attractive pose is rarely depicted, as most photographers have visited the colonies later in the season. There is obviously some kind of kindergarten activity going on.”

Emperor penguin colony with chicks, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguin and chick, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell sea, Antarctica
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Emperor penguin and chick, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell sea, Antarctica
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Emperor penguin jumping out of water at ice edge, Snow Hill Island, Weddell sea, Antarctica
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Emperor penguins and chicks, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguin and chick, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguins and chicks, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguin and chick, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell sea, Antarctica
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Emperor penguin and chick, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell sea, Antarctica
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Emperor penguins walking on sea ice, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguins gathering at ice edge before jumping into sea, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguins and chicks, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguins in a blizzard, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguins with chick, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguin colony in a snow storm, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguins and tourist observing each other, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguin colony with gulls, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguin group, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguin toboganning on sea ice near colony, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguins gathering at ice edge before jumping into sea, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguins gathering at ice edge before jumping into sea, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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Emperor penguin couple with chick, October, Snow Hill Island, Weddell sea, Antarctica
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Emperor penguins
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Hull of icebreaker on ice, with helicopter, October, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
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