| Emperor Penguins
have numerous relationships with other organisms. A predatory interaction
occurs when one organism preys on another organism as a food
source. Emperor Penguins have predators that use
the penguin as a source of food. These predators include
gulls, petrels, skuas, leopard seals, sea lions, and killer
whales. Skuas are closely related to gulls, and gulls like
to prey on chicks and steal eggs. Penguins are predators to
squid, fish, krill, and phytoplankton, as shown in the food web
on the right.
Humans use penguins in a variety of ways.
After penguins molt their feathers, they are used for stuffing
mattresses and cushions. The oil from the layer of fat is boiled
and used for lamp oil and as a base for paints. Penguin skin is
used to make clothing and trimming for women's clothes.
Global warming is a major factor affecting the
lives of penguins. Some areas of Antarctica are seeing an increase in
temperatures, which is causing the ice to melt. This, in turn,
reduces the amount of krill available as the main food source
for the Emperor Penguin. There is a large amount of greenhouse
gas in the air, which is causing a hole to form in the ozone
layer. As a result, harmful ultra-violet light is reaching
the earth's surface, causing harm to plants and animals.
Phytoplankton, which is at the base of the food chain, cannot
survive due to the harmful UV rays. This leads to a food
shortage for the Emperor Penguins.