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Old 11-09-2018, 10:50 AM
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Default Canarian Weekly: Baby is sheer magic for ?gay? penguins!

PENGUINS Sphen and Magic, both male, are happy to announce the arrival of their chick, whom they hatched, and are sharing the job of looking after it.

The ?gay? couple are said to be ?doting? on their tiny offspring, Sphengic, who was born on 19th October, weighing just over 3ozs, at Australia?s Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

Sphen and Magic caught the attention of aquarium workers when they were seen waddling around, constantly, and going for swims together.

They then began building a collective nest of pebbles, prompting the aquarium to provide a dummy egg for them to look after. And, when they proved up to the task, they were given a real egg.

?The pair have bonded,? said penguin supervisor Tish Hannan. ?They recognise each other?s signature calls and songs, and only bonded penguins will be able to find their partner, successfully, using their calls when they are separated.?

Unlike many mammal species, male and female penguins take on the same parenting roles, and share parental duties equally. ?There is no real difference between males and females when it comes to breeding behaviours,? said Hannan. ?So it is common to have male-male or female-female, showing courtship and breeding behaviour.?

In the wild, however, these courtships are unlikely to result in a chick, so their relationships are normally short-lived, with the penguins becoming unsatisfied and looking for another partner.

?But because we have given Sphen and Magic the opportunity to have a potentially-successful breeding season, it is very likely that they will return to each other again next year,? said Hannan.

This is not the first time same-sex penguin couples have adopted eggs in captivity, because a handful of zoos, worldwide, have reported similar incidents.
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