Penguins have us beat as romantic partners, parents


Kaitlynn Breeden, Associate Editor

This is a PSA that Valentine’s Day is for the penguins, not the rest of us. Dating in college can be stressful and a hard task to handle. I’ve found that a lot of the time, the balance between school and a relationship can’t be balanced when one partner is more needy than the other. This holiday isn’t for us. Half of the couples I see on Instagram don’t even wear their masks. Why would this holiday about love and joy be about us? True love and relationships without insecurities and fights can sometimes be unrealistic. But penguins are the true lovers/winners of this holiday.
During courtship, a male penguin will find the smoothest pebble to give to a female as a gift. If she likes the offering, she’ll place it in the nest and the two will continue building up their stockpile of pebbles in preparation for the eggs. Male penguins give their partner thoughtful gifts, but they also express their love physically. Penguins often dance for joy at the sight of someone they love. When penguins find their love, they also sing to them. Some penguins are so in tune with their soulmates, the songs they sing for one another are 100 percent unique. Penguins are certainly not shy about expressing their love, they find that being with their partner is the greatest joy of life.
Not only are penguins romantic, but they’re reliable fathers! Male emperor penguins are in charge of keeping their solitary egg warm until it hatches. In order to snuggle up with their unborn children, these brave guys stand still for 65 days straight in the blustery weather while balancing the eggs on their tiny, webbed feet. Penguins take turn feeding, teaching and primping their young. Penguins express more genuine care in their children’s lives than some of the men I know.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you that Valentine’s Day is for the penguins, they literally adopt orphan penguin babies. Pregnant penguins exhibit a unique hormone called PRL, the parenting hormone. It causes symptoms similar to postpartum depression in instances where a pregnant penguin’s baby dies. In many cases, the would-have-been mom rifles through the colony and seeks out abandoned chicks to raise as her own. These chicks are not limited to their own penguin species either. There have been multiple instances where penguins have adopted birds of a different species as well. Not only are penguins exceptional at co-parenting with one another, but they care about young penguins who are bracing the ice on their own.
Maybe you’re not having issues with your partner not being a stable father. Maybe you find it hard for your partner to express affection. You wouldn’t have that issue if you were a penguin. Penguins possess distinct personalities and many of their traits are human-like. They enjoy a nice warm embrace with their lovers, children, and fellow colony members. During extreme storms, penguins engage in a group hug known as a huddle that often gets so hot, they have to eat snow afterwards in order to cool down. Does your partner care about helping their community? Maybe they do, but penguins still matter more than him.
Valentine’s Day just simply is not for us. It’s for the wonderful penguin communities that express love with an open mind and an open heart. I whole heartedly believe that humans will never express genuine love without it being in their benefit at least a little bit. But, if you are sad about being single this Valentine’s Day, google pictures of penguins being in love. It makes you feel like there might be hope for you, but this holiday still isn’t for you.