It’s been a couple of weeks since I did a Saturday Surprise post … too much going on in the dark world and I either haven’t had time or haven’t been in the mood. So, given the drama of the past week, I thought it was about time for a bit of lighter fare.
Those who’ve been following Filosofa’s Word for a few years may remember a post I wrote back in October 2018 about a pair of Gentoo penguins named Sphen and Magic who live at Sea Life Sydney, a large aquarium in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. On October 19th 2018, Sphen and Magic hatched an egg … and a tiny chick was born. Now, you’re probably asking what’s the big deal here … the big deal is that Sphen and Magic are both male penguins … yes, gay penguins and deeply in love, from the looks of it. I won’t bore you with the details you can read in my original post , but today there is exciting news!
Earlier this year, Sphen and Magic became proud dads for the second time! Their first chick, Sphengic, is grown now (only humans take decades to grow up!), and when a spare penguin egg needed foster parents, it was brought to Sphen and Magic who took it under their wing. The pair have been nest mates since early in 2018, and are still happy together, raising their new chick.
Same-sex pairings like Sphen and Magic are quite common in the animal kingdom with approximately 450 species exhibiting same-sex behavior. Humans could take a lesson. The penguin team at Sydney Aquarium explained that same-sex couples and courtship are a lot more common in nature than most people realize. According to the staff at the aquarium …
“Penguins, including Gentoo penguins, are among the many species in which male-male or female-female pairs occur frequently. Adopting of eggs in the wild can occur with an abandoned egg; however, it is likely that this egg could be infertile, which is why it has been left.”
Sphen is the epitome of a proud, protective dad.
“Recently, Sphen and Magic’s chick has grown big enough to start taking short trips away from the nest, exploring the environment. Sphen followed the chick closely on these little expeditions, guiding it and protecting it from anyone that the chick might wander up to.”
I could not get this video to embed, but here … take a look!
At this moment, Sphen and Magic are having a much-deserved break after all the effort they have put into raising the chick.
“The chick is now big enough that it has joined our creche. In the wild, at this age, the chick’s rapid growth becomes so demanding that both parents must leave the chick behind and go to sea together to feed. The chicks all huddle together in a creche to wait for their parents to return. During this time, the keepers are having beautiful bonding time with the chicks. Once their adult feathers have come through fully, we will have the extremely fun job of teaching them to swim, before they graduate and get to join the colony full-time.”