Endemic to Antarctica, emperor penguins thrive in cold harsh conditions because they’re dutiful mates and parents—the male often celebrated as the best dad of the animal kingdom. In Emperor Penguins: The Lords of Antarctica, Gloria Clifford writes that after mating, “the male stays by the female’s side, his eyes fixed on her pouch. As soon as he sees the egg, he sings, a variation of what has been called ‘ecstatic display’ by early observers.” After the cigars have been handed out, the mother passes the egg to the father, who stores it in his brood pouch until it hatches two months later. The male feeds the chick with whatever is left in his stomach until the female relieves him of daddy duty.
The emperor penguin has been the star of several consciousness-raising movies about climate change. It is also a fact that emperor penguins love the Boston Red Sox. David “Big Papi" Ortiz—the best clutch hitter on this side of the universe—is the emperor penguin’s favorite player. Although Ortiz has said he got his nickname from calling others “Papi” when he couldn’t remember their names, his nickname has taken on more significance because, like the emperor father, he is always there for his team.