I have a book from Dorling Kindersley called Animal Encyclopedia (the German version that I have is called Das große Tierlexikon) with images from animals.

One is titled Emperor Penguin (Kaiserpinguin) which is in my opinion clearly recognizable as a King Penguin (Königspinguin).

This is the image: Emperor or King

I wrote to Dorling Kindersley and they told my that their investigation revealed that it really is an Emperor Penguin.

I am not a biologist nor a penguin expert, but from all the descriptions and images I could find (even in the same book on other pages!) I think the publishing company is wrong and just too lazy or arrogant to admit this error and too miserly to release a revised version of the book.

Who is wrong? Me or Dorling Kindersley? Emperor or King?

Update 2020

They seem to inherently admit it themselves, that the book was wrong (and that they lied to me), as they used the same picture on one of their websites and with king penguin in the caption of the picture: image on the website of Dorling Kindersley / DK

  • $\begingroup$ I know this is verrrryyy old. But yes it's a king. You can tell from the long straight beak. Emperors have a shorter curved beak $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ @erik Haha love the update. Much appreciated after 7 years of personal torment I'm sure! :p. Seriously, though, thanks for updating! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ Might I also suggest just accepting Alan's answer here or adding one of your own. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 5:01

1 Answer 1


Found this image here. I've also seen references to the "closed orange ear patch" of the King Penguin, which fits with the image. So my vote is for the DK image being a King Penguin.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Are you an expert at this? Ornithologist or something? That would be of more value for me. I have the same opinion as you have because of the closed orange ear patch. But maybe there are other indicators which are not that obvious for us amateurs. $\endgroup$
    – erik
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 12:38
  • $\begingroup$ No I'm not an expert, just an amateur like you. $\endgroup$
    – Alan Boyd
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 13:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .