How Do I Love Thee?
To call his mate, a male Adélie penguin uses a tried-and-true formula: flap flippers, tilt head to sky, then cut loose with a braying screech of a love song. It’s called an ecstatic call, and among penguins, it’s contagious. “One starts, and pretty soon everyone’s doing it,” said ecologist David Ainley. Ainley, who studies Adélie colonies in Antarctica, worked with a reporting team from WHOI during a 2007 Polar Discovery expedition at Cape Royds on Ross Island. (Note that this penguin is multi-tasking: while calling, he is also incubating an egg.)
Image credit: Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution