After being released from the iceberg, Aang's first request was to go penguin sledding with Katara, which she confusedly accepted. Later, upon seeing an otter penguin, a fascinated Aang immediately chased after it. Katara found him attempting to catch the animals, with little success. With Katara's help, he used fish to bait the penguins and, after being nearly trampled by the hungry creatures, managed to catch one on which he could go sledding. Katara caught a penguin for herself and joined Aang. As the two reached the end of the slope, their otter penguins tottered back up to the rest of the colony.
The otter penguin is an aquatic, flightless, mammal-like bird found mainly in the Southern Water Tribe. It has four flippers and is approximately as tall as an adolescent human. The creature's face is somewhat otter-like, with a small black nose and whiskers. It has a short neck that blends smoothly into its chest, and its feet are webbed. The otter penguin's coloration is counter-shaded, meaning its back, tail, flippers, and head are black, while its underbelly is white.
Although awkward on land, otter penguins are talented and graceful swimmers. They enjoy sliding down the icy shelves and hills of the poles, with or without a human passenger. Their oily feathers protect them from the cold water and also allow them to slide down icy slopes. Using the creature as a sled is a common recreational activity in both the Southern and Northern Water Tribes.
Otter penguins travel in large groups when on land. Though they will flee if chased, they can easily be lured with fish, which makes up most of its diet. It has one major natural predator, the tiger seal.
In a somewhat domesticated state, an otter penguin is capable of performing for entertainment purposes.
The otter penguin in the World of Avatar in many ways resembles the real world penguin, specifically the emperor penguin and other larger breeds. The primary differences between the otter penguin and the real world penguin are the former's two extra flippers and otter-like face, which lacks a beak.
- Although they are hybridized creatures, otter penguins are usually referred to as penguins.
- In "The Boy in the Iceberg" with Avatar Extras bonus commentary, otter penguins are referred to as penguin-otters. The commentary also reveals that the whiskers on otter penguins are inspired by the mustache style called the Fu Manchu.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender video game, it is revealed that otter penguins are also used for sledding in the Northern Water Tribe.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (February 21, 2005). "The Boy in the Iceberg". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (February 21, 2005). "The Avatar Returns". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (September 13, 2013). "Rebel Spirit". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.