The seabirds start practicing for the upcoming World Cup

By People Staff
Updated May 20, 2010 07:11 PM

Gooooaalll! Some athletic penguins in Yokohama, Japan, got their kicks Thursday during a soccer game in their habitat at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise Aquarium. The trio passed, kicked and punted – okay, maybe not punted – with a miniature goal and all.

Known for teaching its animals tricks, the Hakkeijima staff got two whales to balance oranges on their heads last year, as practice for a New Year’s Eve celebration. But this little soccer game was timed for a celebration, as well: the 2010 FIFA World Cup begins in South Africa on June 11.

Just one question: With those similar black-and-white exteriors, how did these penguins know who their teammates were?