A Penguin Mother’s Day Lesson

Among the thousands of species on the planet, no animal has a more rigidly  defined gender role of mutual co-operation than the Emperor Penguin. Long-distance relationships often leave us with nothing but longing, but as the Penguin Post has learned for the Emperor penguin, there is no choice but to endure some time apart for the good of the family.  Emperor penguins win their mate by passionately serenading and bowing to each other (guys take note).   After they become a couple, the female lays her egg and carefully passes it to the male, and the two stare at it for up to an hour while trembling and singing (beautiful).  After this romantic interlude, the momma penguin says so long and then leaves dad and the egg for her journey across the ice and out to sea to feed for the winter, leaving dad alone with the egg for more than two months.  In effect she is going food shopping and will return (if all goes right) just after the chick is born with a belly full of food. While the mother emperor is fattening herself up out at sea, dad faces treacherous blizzards, winds and extremely low (50 below zero) temperatures.  Not only is he incredibly bored (even for a penguin), but he loses half his body weight during this time as well.  But in two months time using their song to locate one another, mom returns with a full belly of food for the chick, and the families are reunited.  The male apprehensively passes the female their new chick, and she provides its first meal. Then it’s time for dad to head out to sea for his all you can eat seafood buffet.  The two parents will remain mates for life so long as they can find each other time and again. The migration of Emperor penguin mom’s ensures nourishment for the chick and the future of the penguin family, and a lesson for us all of the importance of mother’s, families and co-operation.

Emperor Penguin Mom Stands Proud and Tall

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