Heritage100

King FRED from the ICE

King Penguin

...named King FRED from the ICE – honouring the Olympic values of Friendship, Respect, Equality, Determination, Inspiration, Courage and Excellence

This Antarctic King Penguin is a recent acquisition by the Gilbert White’s House & Garden and The Oates Collection, facilitated by colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey.

He was displayed from 2012, marking the centenary of the death of Captain Lawrence Oates and the year of the London Olympics. The King Penguin is named 'King FRED from the ICE' – honouring the Olympic values of Friendship, Respect, Equality, Determination, Inspiration, Courage and Excellence – qualities illustrated by Oates and the Scott Antarctic Expedition 100 years before.

The specimen, a juvenile male, was located for the museum by scientists of the British Antarctic Survey, whilst undertaking their on-going research in Antarctica during the summer of 2011. They found the penguin shortly after it had died of natural causes.

Transport was arranged to the Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust. where the penguin was preserved by an expert taxidermist. In the autumn of 2011, it was transported to Selborne with the assistance of colleagues at the Falkland Islands Museum and British Antarctic Survey.

Quick Facts

  • Species King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)
  • Dimensions Height 90cm (36in)
  • Found in 2011
  • Found in Antarctica
  • Found by British Antarctic Survey
  • Preserved by Falklands Islands Museum and National Trust

Facts

  • King Penguins are flightless birds, perfectly adapted to life in the water and surviving the extremely low temperatures of the Antarctic. They are one of six species of Antarctic penguins. 
  • King Penguins, like all other penguins, live near their food supply, and mostly eat lanternfish and squid. They breed and moult on islands, but spend the rest of the time in the sea.
  • At breeding time huge colonies, groups of penguins, huddle together. Living in groups as large as 10,000 birds helps penguins keep warm.
  • Female King Penguins lay a single egg and the breeding season lasts a whole year. The male birds protect the eggs by holding them on their feet, tucked under the warm fur-like feathers on their bellies – so the eggs are kept off the ground, preventing them from freezing.
  • Typically over a period of three years King Penguins raise only two chicks. Chicks stay with their parents for about a year before they are able to survive on their own.
  • King Penguins are adapted to long-distance swimming and deep diving. King Penguins can dive to 340m (1,199ft) and can stay underwater for almost 15 minutes.

Did you know?

In the autumn of 2012 the British Antarctic Survey located a recently deceased Emperor Penguin whilst undertaking on-going scientific research in Antarctica and it will be preserved by a taxidermist.

This means that the Oates Collection at Gilbert White’s House in Selborne will soon have an example of each of the species of Antarctic penguin. Ranging in size from largest to smallest these are: Emperor Penguin; King Penguin; Gentoo Penguin; Adelie Penguin; Chinstrap Penguin; and Macaroni Penguin.

Gallery

King Penguin
360 degree rotation of King Penguin

Fact Sheets

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