A penguin's characteristic waddle isn't just for show, though -- it's actually the most efficient way for the birds to move. Penguin researcher Michel Gauthier-Clerc told the New York Times that the wobbly waddle serves a very important purpose -- keeping penguins warm.
Endearing as it is, Dr. Gauthier-Clerc explained that the apparent awkwardness of the penguin's march had nothing to do with clumsiness or uncertain balance. Instead, he said, penguins waddle to save energy. A side-to-side walk burns fewer calories than a straightforward stride, and for birds that fast for months and live in a frigid climate, every calorie counts.