King Penguin Chick at SeaWorld Orlando

Two-week old king penguin chick at SeaWorld Orlando.

Two-week old king penguin chick at SeaWorld Orlando. Photo by SeaWorld Orlando.

On November 30, SeaWorld Orlando welcomed the first chick to hatch at their new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. The two-week old king penguin chick weighs 882 grams (30 oz.). It is being cared for by its parents with routine checkups from SeaWorld Orlando staff. The little chick will grow to more than 11 kilograms (24 lbs.) and over 2.5 feet tall.

Like emperor penguins, king penguins do not build nests. Instead the mother and father take turns incubating the egg under their belly on top of their feet.

Learn more at the SeaWorld Orlando website.

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African Penguin Gets Custom Wetsuit

Penguin in wetsuit

Photo by Abigail Pheiffer

At the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT, a 14-year-old penguin named Yellow Pink molted his waterproof feathers last year. They never grew back. Without the waterproof feathers, swimming became uncomfortable for the penguin.

Fortunately, a team of veterinarians, trainers, and research staff made him a custom neoprene wetsuit out of an old aquarium diving suit. Now Yellow Pink can stay warm as as swims.

Watch a video of Yellow Pink swimming in his suit below:

For more information about Yellow Pink, visit the Mystic Aquarium website or find them on Facebook.

Learn more about African penguins on our African Penguin Facts Page.

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Young Zoo Visitor Saves Penguin Egg

On April 3rd, a baby Humboldt penguin hatched at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. But as the bird was hatching, a young visitor, around 7-8 years old, spotted a second egg exposed on a cliff within an exhibit. The egg was in danger of being knocked off the cliff or being eaten by a crow or seagull. He informed a zookeeper, who then rushed the egg to a pair of foster parents. The little penguin hatched two days later.

The zoo would like to properly thank the boy for saving the baby penguin.  They ask that you email if you know the identity of the young hero.

Penguin chick at the Woodland Park Zoo

Penguin chick at the Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

In the wild, Humboldt penguins live along the coast of Peru and Chile.  They are considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN Redlist.  Threats include fishing nets, illegal pet trade, over-exploitation of guano (which the penguins use for nesting), and pollution.

For more info about the Humboldt penguin chicks, see the Woodland Park Zoo blog.

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Penguin Cam

Free desktop streaming application by Ustream

Watch African penguins at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco LIVE via three webcams.

The birds are especially active during these DAILY feeding times:
10:30am PT / 1:30pm ET
3:00pm PT / 6:00pm ET

For more information, see:

Learn more about African penguins, aka jackass penguins, on Animal Fact Guide.

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Exhibit Review: Crittercam


Last week, we wrote about Crittercam, an exhibit presented by the Museum of Science, Boston and National Geographic.  Yesterday, we had the opportunity to visit the exhibit in person.

Crittercam provides a fascinating look into the behavior of several kinds of animals including penguins, seals, sea turtles, sharks, lions, bears, and more.  Using cameras attached to various animals, scientists were able to gather data about hunting techniques, social norms, and daily activity that had previously eluded them.  The exhibit provides video footage captured by the animals along with explanatory text and a few fun facts about the animals discussed.

Lioness wearing CrittercamBut the exhibit also delves into the technology and methodology of Crittercam.  There are models of animals showing how the special cameras were attached and adapted to a particular animal’s lifestyle.

For example, the soft, flexible shells of leatherback sea turtles did not allow the camera to be attached by an adhesive. Instead, a suction cup was applied to the central plate of the turtle’s shell.

Using videos, photos, life-size models, and computer kiosks, the exhibit appeals to an audience of all ages and interests. So if you live in or plan to visit the Boston area, be sure to visit Crittercam at the Museum of Science, which runs through August 30.

For more info: Crittercam.

News of the Harry Potter Exhibition arrives via owl***

During our visit, the museum made an exciting announcement (delivered by an owl) about a very special international exhibition that will open in Boston on October 25, 2009 called Harry Potter: The Exhibition.

Fans of Harry Potter will soon get the chance to immerse themselves in the wizarding world.  Artifacts and costumes from the latest Harry Potter films will be displayed in a 10,000-sq. ft. space.

For more info, see: Harry Potter: The Exhibition.

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