By Josh Saunders
These penguins are certainly showboating their fancy flipper-work as they move in sync like ice skaters Torvill and Dean performing the duo’s famous dance the BEAK-LERO.
The monochrome Gentoos were photographed by Derek Pettersson, 56, of Volunteer Point, the Falkland Islands, as they pranced along the picturesque white sands.
The 56-year-old, who was on the archipelago, went on to explain how the images showing the pair’s perfectly mirrored steps was not quite as it seemed.
Despite the pair appearing to be practicing for an ice skating or ballet performance, the young chick was in fact hassling its parent for food.
This is a common practice of penguin chicks, who will often chase after an adult whose recently had their fill of fish in the hope of sharing a quick bite.
Luckily for this cheeky penguin, the parent obliged by opening its mouth to let the baby share the meal – all part of the practice used to teach them to follow them out to sea and hunt for themselves.
There are nearly half a million breeding pairs in the Falklands archipelago, split among five species: Gentoos, Kings, Macaronis, Magellanics and Rockhoppers.
Derek, who runs Volunteer House, said: “They remind me a little of ice skaters, in the way that they often keep very close together and in perfect time.
“At this time of year Gentoo chicks are as big as the adults and are very hungry.
“The parents make them chase for their food and also start to take them out to sea to get used to the water.
“There are often two chicks, so they have to run a lot to get the food and the slower one loses out.
“Being in sync is common as that is how the adult makes them run to get food and encourage them to start going to sea
“The best time to see this at Volunteer House is February and March when the chicks are big and can run fast.”
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