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A Valentine's love story: penguins leave their hearts in San Francisco

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A Valentine's love story: penguins leave their hearts in San Francisco

A Valentine's love story: penguins leave their hearts in San Francisco
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Biologists at the California Academy of Sciences have handed out heart-shaped felt material to the museum's African Penguins.

The birds use the cloth as nesting material to help attract mates... and to help keep the mates they already have happy!

Vicki McCloskey is a curator at the California Academy of Sciences.

"It's very important - for you to get a mate - to have a nice-looking nest", she said. "So we kind of celebrate that a little bit on Valentine's Day. You'll see both the males and the females taking nesting material. In the wild of course they'd be using natural fibers. They nest sometimes right in the sand. They'll dig out a hole in the sand and decorate it with plants, rocks, sticks, whatever they can get."

The nesting project is part of a species survival plan the academy created to help grow the African Penguin population which is endangered in the wild.