Bereaved Penguins Sighted Comforting Each Other

A pair of widowed penguins were filmed with their wings wrapped around each other in an Instagram posted on World Penguin Day, April 25. The two were standing on a rock and facing the Melbourne, Australia skyline, surrounded by the calls of hundreds of other little fairy penguins.

Mating For Life

Now, there are plenty of myths about animals. One that's largely true is about penguins. Most penguins really are monogamous. They mate for life. They even have courtship rituals like giving each other small rocks. In a way, that's not far off from our human engagement ring system. Penguins also have a fairly developed family life.

Everyone has seen the documentaries where one penguin stands with the egg, keeping it safe and warm, while the other partner goes off in search of food. Humans can easily relate to the way penguins organize their lives and families. This beautiful picture just reinforces the idea that we have even more similarities than we realized.

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In the end, it doesn't really matter what the penguins feel or if they have the same sense of loss that people do. The photo was taken by a person for an audience of people. In some ways, it doesn't have much to do with penguins. It's more about the emotions and expectations that people bring to their art.

Photographer Tobias Baumgaertner wrote in his caption: "A volunteer approached me and told me that the white one was an elderly lady who had lost her partner and apparently so did the younger male to the left. Since then they meet regularly comforting each other and standing together for hours watching the dancing lights of the nearby city. I spend 3 full nights with this penguin colony until I was able to get this picture."

What do you think about the penguin picture? Are they mourning together or not? Tell us now!