Movie Makes Penguins Hot

Forget about those big-budget blockbusters with the special effects. This summer, one of the most popular films is a documentary the entire family can enjoy. And it stars a bunch of really cool characters: Penguins.

"March of the Penguins" has been out for about eight weeks, has made almost $40 million in the box office and shows no signs of slowing down.

So if, after watching the movie, you feel like seeing penguins up close, you don't have to go to Antarctica and brave the elements. Sea World San Diego has a polar penguin exhibit, where you can see Emperor penguins.

They are one of 17 penguin species. "Not all penguins live in freezing cold climates," Sea World's animal ambassador Ginny Bush tells The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler. Bush, with the help of handler Courtney Falk, took Pete and Penny to the New York studio from Orlando.

Unlike the Emperor penguins from the movie, the Magellanic penguins are tempered species hailing from Chile and Argentina.

"These guys can live in degrees up to 80, but they go into the very, very cold water of South America," Bush says. "That's what cools them down. You can see around their eye they have a white patch. It's a little pink right now because the air is a little hot. That's how they regulate their temperature, as well as through their feet."

Comparing the Emperor and Magellanic penguins, Bush says the Emperor can be about 4 feet tall and weigh 100 lbs., while the Magellanic are only a foot to a foot-and-a-half and weigh about 10 lbs.

"But they all have similar characteristics, such as waddling," Bush says. "They will pair up and return to the same breeding site every year. They breed on a land area near the water."

Bush explains the Magellanic penguins lay their eggs in burrows. The Emperors have to go 70 miles inland because the ice melts up to that point. The reason the Emperors don't move to a warmer climate is simply because their bodies are perfect for cold weather. They have 70 feathers per square inch.

All penguins tend to live about 25 years. In captivity, they tend to live longer. It is likely that Pete and Penny, now 7 and 10 years old respectively, will live up to 30 years.

Their natural predators are gulls, sharks and seals. They also have to worry more during breeding season because their eggs and chicks are very vulnerable.

Their "tuxedo" helps the birds hide from predators when swimming in the ocean. The white belly blends in with the bright light coming from above, making the bird hard for seals to spot. From above, the dark back blends in with the dark ocean water below.