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Polar Regions
Emperor Penguins


Emperor Penguins
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Print Emperor Penguins Reading Comprehension

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.14

     challenging words:    blue-black, plumage, inhospitable, inland, breed, species, withstand, divers, gland, underwater, backs, brood, adult, hatches, layer, journey

Other Languages
     Spanish: Los pingüinos emperador

Emperor Penguins
By Vickie Chao
Rewritten as a short reader by Cindy Grigg

1     Emperor penguins live in the coldest place on Earth-Antarctica. In fact, this icy continent is the only place emperor penguins are found. Temperatures are below freezing for almost the whole year. In the winter, there are several months of darkness. Winds blow along the coasts at storm force. How can anything live in such an inhospitable place?
2     Well, emperor penguins have lots of blubber. Blubber is a thick layer of fat under the skin. As much as one-third of a penguin's body weight might be blubber. They have a thick layer of feathers. This helps them keep warm, too. Also, emperor penguins love to huddle in a large group. They take turns staying near the edges. Each penguin has a turn in the warmer inside part of the circle.
3     Emperor penguins are about four feet tall. They weigh about sixty-five pounds. They are the tallest and the fattest penguin species. Their heads and backs are covered in blue-black feathers. They have lemon yellow on their upper bodies. Their bellies are white. They have orange cheeks. They also have a dash of orange on each side of their beaks. Emperor penguins eat fish, squid, and crustaceans. They are superb divers. They can dive more than 1,500 feet deep. They can stay underwater for up to fifteen minutes.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

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