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emperor penguin, father and baby

Gwenn Seemel
Papa’s milk (Emperor penguin)
2012
acrylic on panel
10 x 10 inches

I have to say it: my dad is the best one around—better even than an emperor penguin dad! To learn more about the making of Papa’s milk, watch this vlog. Below is the text from the book Crime Against Nature that goes with this image—the book can be read and purchased here.

Boys can be just as committed to childcare as girls.

Emperor penguin parents work together to raise their young. Directly after laying her egg, the female takes off to feed in the ocean for two months, leaving the male to incubate the egg. The chick’s first meal comes from its father in the form of crop milk. Prolactin, the hormone that causes lactation in mammals, is responsible for the production of crop milk as well.