Thursday, July 5, 2007

Penguin babies join Shedd Aquarium flock

A newly hatched penguin at Shedd Aquarium has spent the first 25 days of its life wedged between its mom and a hard place.

That's because a good penguin mother sits on her newborn to keep it warm and safe. Typically, she and her mate take turns, alternating 12-hour shifts.

This chick, known simply as 220, is the oldest of three Gentoo penguin chicks that have hatched at Shedd in the last month. The others are 16 and 8 days old, and, like 220, have numbers rather than names—the trainers find it easier to keep track of the penguins that way. They don't even know if the chicks are male or female—it's almost impossible to tell just by looking.

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