Penguins are superbly adapted to an aquatic life. Their tiny wings have become flippers, useless for flight in the air. In the water, however, the penguin is astonishingly agile. Within the penguin's smooth plumage, a layer of air is trapped, aiding in buoyancy. The air layer also helps insulate the birds in cold waters. Penguins are popular around the world, primarily for their unusually upright, waddling gait and (compared to other birds) lack of fear of humans. Their striking black-and-white plumage is often likened to a tuxedo suit.
Mistakenly, some artists and writers have penguins based at the North Pole. This is incorrect; the only wild penguins in the northern hemisphere are a small group on the northern-most of the Galápagos Islands. The cartoon series Chilly Willy helped perpetuate this myth, as the title penguin would interact with northern-hemisphere species such as polar bears and walruses.
Penguin popularity has increased since they have been the subject of many books and films such as Happy Feet, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and March of the Penguins. Take home one of our handsome penguin suncatchers today!