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Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Tuxedo feathers

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

A penguin’s tuxedo feathering is not for fancy occasions—it’s actually a type of camouflage known as countershading.  

Humboldt penguin at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Ryan Hawk/WPZ.

When a penguin is in the water, its black back blends into the darker water below when viewing it from above, and its white belly blends into the lighter surface of the water when looking up from underneath it.