If Antarctica had a mascot, it would most definitely be the penguin. They are the main population on Antarctica, and they are damn cute. Sure – they smell…badly – but I found the odor pretty easy to overlook in light of their general adorableness. I personally think they could make a run to de-thrown the mighty teddy bear or puppy for most adorable creature.
Antarctica is home to 6 species of penguins – Adélies, Chinstraps, Emperors, Gentoos, Macaronis, and Rockhoppers. They mainly eat krill or fish and they have no real predators on land except skua birds who steal their eggs. Their predators in water are the leopard seal and the orca whales, but they can live in harmony with seals on land – a strange site.
Penguins are the perfect mascot to represent the continent- they are always dressed formally and ready to turn on the charm at a moments notice. I even did research on what makes a good mascot and came up with the following qualities according to marketing and business geniuses and applied my findings:
A Mascot Should Provide People with a Sense of Comfort
These creatures know how to take care of things…especially their offspring. The females and males spend hours making sure their offspring are comfortable and taken care of. This mother penguin readjusts her eggs ensuring they are comfortable.
This male penguin brings yet another rock for his beloved’s nest ensuring his mate and future chick are comfortable.
A Mascot Should Have a Good Pose
On a scale of 1 to 10 – I rate this pose a 11. These little creatures are noisy and sort of sound like a herd of donkeys at times – but all of that yapping makes for great photos.
Love this stream-lined pose…very aerodynamic…if they could only fly…
I wonder how long they had to work on this pose together?
There are even a few penguin super models…
A Mascot Should Convey Motion and Energy
Penguins are more industrious that I was expecting. They create a complex maze of penguin highways to get to and from their rookery through the melting snow. The path is used by all of the penguins so it doesn’t take long for the path to get stamped down and a highway is formed.
Penguins displayed most of their energy in the water as they lept through the water like dolphins with ease and grace.
A Mascot Should Be Like-able, Cute, and Happy
Easy – I never saw a happier animal. They were so unafraid of humans that they would walk right up to you and look you over.
A Mascot Should Have a Personality of Its Own
Each penguin seems to have a personality – which is an oddity if you ask me. At times they seemed more human than birdlike. They would fight and play with each other with gusto. It was easy to spot the bullies, the popular penguins, the gossips, and the smart ones.
And a Mascot Should Always Have a Comfortable Suit that allows for movement and interaction
Disclosure: Expedition Trips and G Adventures hosted my Antarctic Peninsula Cruise. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own – as you know how I love to speak my mind!