Bleats

Happily Ever After: Those Gay Penguins At Sydney Aquarium Have Welcomed A Baby Chick

I've got happy feet at this news.

The gay penguins at Sydney Sea Life Aquarium that we wrote about earlier this month have welcomed a foster chick into the world and it’s the best news ever.

Sphen and Magic are the aquarium’s first gay penguin couple, and their keepers were so impressed with their parenting skills that they gave them an egg from a penguin who’d had two so that they could foster it. Evidently, they’ve been doing a fantastic job of incubating the little egg, since it’s now hatched!

The aquarium announced the arrival of the new chick on Facebook this morning:

Baby Sphengic was born just last week!

The chick hatched last Friday, and weighs just 91 grams. It doesn’t have a name just yet, but once they work out its gender in two months’ time, they’ll be asking their Facebook fans for help with naming baby Sphengic.

Penguin Department Supervisor Tish Hannan said:

“Baby Sphengic has already stolen our hearts! We love watching the proud parents doting and taking turns caring for their baby chick.”

So small!

Expectant Gentoo parents keep their eggs warm during incubation by using pebble nesting rings. They swap duties daily, so while one is incubating the egg, the other is patrolling the perimeters of the nest, “warding off any potential pebble thieves or over-inquisitive neighbours.”

Representatives for the aquarium have previously said that the pair make an excellent team – Sphen is older and already very good at incubating, while Magic is younger and still learning. They were able to practice on a dummy egg before receiving this egg from another penguin couple.

Leslie Knope would be so proud of Sphen and Magic. They’ve made gay penguin history!

So beautiful.

Australian Scientists Have Recorded Footage Of An Underwater Headless Chicken Monster And It's The Stuff Of Nightmares

I think it's Cthulhu's cousin.

The ocean is a terrifying place. It covers more than 70% of our planet’s surface, but less than 20% of it has been explored by humans. Who knows what’s lurking out there in the depths?

There could be talking vegetarian sharks out there for all we know.

Australian scientists have captured rare footage of what’s known as the ‘headless chicken monster’ (why? I have no idea) off the coast of Antarctica using new technology.

Its scientific name is Enypniastes eximia, and it’s a deep-sea cucumber. This is the first footage of it taken in the Southern Ocean off East Antarctica; it has previously been filmed in the Gulf of Mexico, but if you’ve ever seen a map, you’ll know that those two places are quite far away from each other.

So without further ado, I present to you the headless chicken monster of the sea:

The footage of this floating blood clot was taken using an underwater camera system developed by the Australian Antarctic Division.

The technology was developed because researchers needed something that could be thrown from the side of a boat, and that would continue to operate reliably under extreme pressure for long periods of time, according to Australian Antarctic Division Program Leader Dr Dirk Welsford.

Welsford said of the footage that’s been collected:

“Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking, including species we have never seen in this part of the world.”

You can check out the footage here:

The footage collected from the cameras is being presented at the annual Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources in Hobart this week, where Australia’s commissioner for the meeting will push for a new east Antarctic marine protected area.

I’m sure the headless chicken monster will be thrilled to hear that Australians are concerned about protecting his habitat.

I think it’s saying ‘yay!’ but since it doesn’t have a mouth or vocal chords, I can’t be sure.

This Pair Of Gay Penguins At A Sydney Aquarium Will Make You Believe In Love Again

If only Leslie Knope were around to officiate Sphen and Magic's wedding.

This breeding season at Sydney Sea Life Aquarium, two penguins have thrown caution to the wind and become the aquarium’s first gay penguin couple.

Sphen and Magic, plus a third penguin who isn’t gay (yet).

Sphen and Magic are two Gentoo penguins who have developed a strong bond, waddling around and swimming together in their exhibit. As breeding season approached, they started collecting pebbles to create a nest. Their keepers have given them a dummy egg so they don’t feel excluded from breeding season, and to help them develop their incubating skills.

The staff were so impressed by the care they gave to the dummy egg that they gave them a real egg to foster from another penguin couple who’d had two.

According to the aquarium, the pair make an excellent team – Sphen is older and already very good at incubating, while Magic is younger and still learning. The aquarium has dubbed the pair ‘Sphengic’.

Sphen and Magic aren’t the first gay penguins in captivity; in the late 90s, Roy and Silo at New York’s Central Park Zoo made headlines around the world when they were observed performing mating rituals, even going so far as to try and hatch a rock as if it were an egg.

Roy and Silo inspired a Will & Grace episode, ‘Birds of a Feather Boa’, where Will and Jack team up to help prevent a gay penguin couple from being separated.

But perhaps more well-known to millennials is Parks and Recreation’s ode to gay penguin love, ‘Pawnee Zoo’. In the episode, Leslie Knope performed a wedding for the gay penguins, and drew the ire of the town’s more conservative residents.

True love is what brings us together today.

In the end, the penguins were moved (together!) to a different zoo, so it had a happy ending.

A proud parent.

Anyway, you can check out a video of Sphen doing the penguin equivalent of proposing here:

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