name = "Aptenodytes"

image_width = 150px
image_caption = Emperor Penguins
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Sphenisciformes
familia = Spheniscidae
genus = "Aptenodytes"
genus_authority = Miller,JF, 1778
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision =
"Aptenodytes patagonicus"
"Aptenodytes forsteri" "Aptenodytes ridgeni" (fossil)

The genus "Aptenodytes" (from the Ancient Greek "a"/α 'without' "pteno-"/πτηνο- 'feather' or 'wing' and "dytes"/δυτης 'diver')cite book | author = Liddell, Henry George and Robert Scott | year = 1980 | title = A Greek-English Lexicon (Abridged Edition) | publisher = Oxford University Press | location = United Kingdom | id = ISBN 0-19-910207-4] contains two extant species of penguins collectively known as "the great penguins".


* King Penguin, "Aptenodytes patagonicus"
* Emperor Penguin, "Aptenodytes forsteri"

Ridgen's Penguin ("Aptenodytes ridgeni") is an extinct species known from fossil bones of Early or Late Pliocene age.

Molecular studies have shown the genus "Aptenodytes" be basal to all other living penguins, that is the genus split off from a branch which led to all other species. DNA evidence suggests this split occurred around 40 million years ago. [cite journal |author=Baker AJ, Pereira SL, Haddrath OP, Edge KA|year=2006|title=Multiple gene evidence for expansion of extant penguins out of Antarctica due to global cooling |journal=Proc Biol Sci. |volume=273 |issue=1582|pages=11–17|doi=10.1098/rspb.2005.3260 |url=http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1560011 |accessdate=2008-03-21|pmid=16519228] This had been foreshadowed by an attempt to classify penguins by their behaviour, which also predicted the genus' basal nature. [cite journal |author=Jouventin P |year=1982 |title=Visual and vocal signals in penguins, their evolution and adaptive characters |journal=Adv. ethol. |volume=24 |issue= |pages=1–149 |id= |url= |accessdate= ]


Two monotypic species extant:cite web | url =http://www.zoonomen.net/avtax/cico.html |title = Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Ciconiiformes (Version 9.004) |date =2008-07-05 |publisher = www.zoonomen.net]


External links

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