The king penguin is the second largest penguin on Earth. In fact, the bird gets its common name from the belief that it was the largest of all penguin species—a belief that was overturned in 1884 when its close relative the emperor penguin, which can measure nearly a foot taller, was recognized as a separate species.
The easiest way to distinguish a king penguin from the other 17 penguin species is by the splash of yellow-orange feathers the bird sports on its upper chest and by the teardrop-shaped patches of color on the sides of its head. Some other penguins boast yellow feathers too, but none so prominently as the king penguin.
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