Male Penguin Woos a Prospective Mate with a Pebble

Chocolates and roses. Eau de parfum. Diamonds that last forever.

Those are just some of the romantic gifts that men offer to the love of their life. But, of course, it’s not just any kind of chocolate, flower, perfume, or jewelry. They have to be the sweetest, the most fragrant, the loveliest, the best. That’s how they hope to win their targets’ favor and their hearts.

Photo: Tiktok/detroitzoo

When it comes to male Adelie and Gentoo penguins, there’s a similarity in their wooing ritual with humans. They also seek the best gifts to win the love of their prospective mates. But not with the sweetest chocolates or expensive diamonds. It’s with the best pebbles they can find on rocky shores.

Yes, pebbles. The smoothest stones for building a love nest.

Photo: Tiktok/detroitzoo

If the lady penguin accepts the pebble and adds it to the nest she’s making, it means “love proposal accepted.”

This mating ritual is one of the most fascinating events that people have been coming to watch at the Detroit Zoo! Their Gentoo penguins are housed at the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, along with the king, rockhopper, chinstrap, and macaroni penguins.

Photo: Tiktok/detroitzoo

Thanks to being in the largest penguin facility in the world, the natural behaviors of the Gentoo penguins don’t get restricted at the Polk Penguin Conservation Center. They can swim fast and continuously in the circular pool, enabling them to “fly” through the water and land on their feet, for which these penguins are especially famous.

During this season of love, the males are preoccupied with wooing the ladies by gathering the most romantic-looking pebbles in their area. Just how persevering these penguin suitors are you’ll find out from the heart-melting video below!


Our hearts are full as we watch the penguins at the Detroit Zoo woo their perspective mates. #detroitzoo #zoo #penguins #valentinesday #mating #birds

♬ La vie en rose (Cover Edith Piaf) – 田东昱

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