At first glance, the king penguin appears very similar to the larger, closely related emperor penguin, with a broad cheek patch contrasting with surrounding dark feathers and yellow-orange plumage at the top of the chest. However, the cheek patch of the adult king penguin is a solid bright orange whereas that of the emperor penguin is yellow and white, and the upper chest tends to be more orange and less yellowish in the king species. Both have colourful markings along the side of their lower mandible, but these tend towards pink in emperor penguin and orange in king penguin. Emperor and king penguins typically do not inhabit the same areas in the wild, with the possible exception of vagrants at sea, but the king can readily be distinguished by being noticeably sleeker, with a longer, straighter bill than the emperor. The chicks of both species are completely different from one another in appearance. Once fully molted of its heavy dark brown down, the juvenile king penguin resembles the adult but is somewhat less colourful.
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