- Emperor penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri
- 564 metre(s)
- Antarctica ()
The greatest depth accurately measured for any bird is 564 metres (1,850 feet) by an emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) off eastern Antarctica. The study followed 93 penguins fitted with time-depth recorders during the breeding season of three different years (1988, 1993–94) and the results were published in the journal Polar Biology on 19 July 2006.
A total of 137,364 individual dives were recorded over the course of the three-year study. Of these, only 0.2% exceeded 400 metres (1,312 feet) and, interestingly, of the 12 dives that surpassed 500 metres (1,640 feet), all were performed by the same penguin.
The study was a collaboration between the Australian Antarctic Division and Phillip Island Nature Park (both Australia).
The longest-lasting dive during this study was 21.8 minutes. However, a more recent paper published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series on 12 April 2018 documents an emperor penguin that remained underwater for 32.2 minutes.