Can you tell a difference between a male and a female penguin?

The only way I can tell who is who is because the male is spanking the ass of the female penguin. On the other hand, the female is curiously preoccupied with “her” genitals which leads me to believe that it might be a male after all.

Chances are you can’t. And neither can I?

How come both male and female penguins look pretty much identical?

Any time there is a species that shares equally in rearing of the offspring, both male and female look identical.

Whenever that’s not the case, species tend to develop differences in the way they look because the division of labor (rearing of the offspring) is NOT equally distributed.

Example: Male peacock has developed rich and colorful plumage in order to attract the female peacock.

This configuration offers no survival benefit to this peacock. It only ensures the survival of his genes.

Human males must show their own rich plumage in order to attract a human female the same way peacocks do.

We do this in many ordinary and expected as well as extraordinary and unexpected (unconscious) ways.

Here is an example

  • Like female flies, human females will determine the suitability of the male based on his dance moves.

This makes perfect sense since in order to dance one must be in pretty good shape and posses the gift of coordination (both desirable traits) and is therefore suitable for procreation

Dancing in this context is basically short-hand for perceived fitness level which can also be demonstrated in other ways (through sports, wars, and other forms of competition).

Another example.

  • In most independent studies, bottled water neither tastes better nor is better for you, and yet, it’s more expensive than gasoline and we spend billions of dollars every year on it. Why?

Dig the high-status trifecta. Erect posture, suit and tie and bottled water.

For the same reason we buy Starbucks and not Dunkin Donuts.

And for the same reason we own Macbook and not PC.

For the same reason we buy fancy cars.

It’s a signaling method which demonstrates the male’s ability to provide.

All of these are simply signaling methods to the human female that we are better suited for procreation than the next guy.

And why does the male have to demonstrate its suitability? Why isn’t it the other way around?

Because we are not penguins.

I can’t believe I managed to find two humans dressed as penguins and in a pretty much the same configuration as the first picture of male and female penguin.

Male sperm is little more than the propeller and the seed.

Female egg provides all the building material for the new life and once impregnated, the female is disproportionately responsible for the seed for the next several years at least.

Meanwhile, the male is free to impregnate as many other females as he can get his hands on.

This is why females must be picky. The time and commitment is NOT evenly distributed.

When the situation is reversed (as is with some fish) the males are the picky ones.

We all think of ourselves as individuals. But are we?

How many of us are aware of the evolutionary factors that affect our choice of partners?

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Special Thanks to my friend Dino Dogan for this great article:

Dino Dogan is a blogger, writer, motorcyclist, dog trainer, singer/songwriter and martial artist. He’s currently working on Human-Dog Problem Tree, a thesis in human-dog relationships. Check out his blog and tweet him up at


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