As if penguins weren't lovable enough already, we just learned about penguins that give each other Valentine's Day gifts. These penguin valentines are part of what's become an adorable annual tradition at an aquarium in San Francisco, California.
In this aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences, biologists hand out red felt hearts to 14 African penguins — and then let nature take its course!
Good luck, fellas (and ladies). (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The sweet animals — usually the males — grab the felt hearts with their beaks and walk back to their nests, where they often carry the gifts back to their mates. We're sure the lucky birds receiving these gifts are so thankful for the thoughtful gesture. (Anyone else having flashbacks to those adorably awkward Valentine's Day gift exchanges from elementary school?)
Who could resist a valentine that waddles this adorably? (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The heart-melting activity, which is part of the aquarium's captive breeding program to help increase the population of these endangered penguins, also serves quite a useful purpose for the charming birds long after Valentine's Day is over. The penguins often end up using the felt hearts as part of the material to build up their nests. (Interestingly enough, wild penguins use similar materials to build their nests outside of a captive environment.) This practical measure also serves to help further strengthen these couples' bonds.
This time, the heart marks the spot. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Talk about home being where the heart is — literally!
Next, learn all of the most adorable names for baby animals of different species in the video below: