the Sumida Aqarium’s 2024 Penguin Relationship Flowchart

Penguins, the way they waddle around and protect their eggs, are often thought of as cute, cuddly and romantic. But those who observe them for extended periods know they have a dark side. Two aquariums in Japan, Kyoto Aquarium and Sumida Aquarium, keep obsessive tabs on their penguins and maintain an updated flowchart that visualizes all their penguin drama.

Ichigo (f) and Hanabi (m) are a couple with a child but Ichigo has been serenading Washoi (m), the brother of her husband. Meanwhile, Washoi has also taken a liking to Tsumugi (f) but they haven’t gotten physical yet.

Penguins are highly social species. They like being with others and, like humans, this can often lead to polyamorous and sometimes scandalous situations. Penguin drama can include serious crushes and heartbreaks but also adultery and egg-stealing. Penguins may even develop crushes on their caretakers. And these Japanese aquariums have it all charted in a flowchart that can be studied for hours.

The aquariums keep high-resolution versions of each. Here are the links for the Kyoto Aquarium and the one for Tokyo’s Sumida Aquarium, which has just updated their for 2024.

According to the aquarium’s caretakers, the penguin’s romantic escapades are fairly easy to observe. For example, wing-flapping is a sign of affection and couples can be seen grooming each other. Penguins who are getting over a break-up will often refuse to eat.

Someone needs to give these penguins their own reality TV show!

Yomogi (f) has broken 10 years of celibacy and started dating Chochin (m) while also flirting with the ever-popular Kiriko (m), the capricious child of Lime (m) and Nadeshiko (f) who has multiple relationships including one with Ichigo (f)!

There is trouble brewing between couples Akebi (m) & Fuji (f) and Maron (m) & Banana (f), both whom have 2 kids. But Fuji and Maron were recently spotted serenading each other and then sleeping together.

This article was originally published July 2020 but has been updated to reflect most-recent information