MYSTIC, Conn. (April 15, 2010) – Mystic Aquarium’s newest African penguin chicks showed off their newfound swimming skills this morning. For the first time, the two chicks took the plunge into the Roger Tory Peterson Penguin Exhibit and were introduced to the public.
The chicks – Blue-Purple, 78 days old today, and Blue-Black, 77 days old – are fully weaned and ready to begin their acclimation to the exhibit and aquarium’s colony of penguins. Many watched the chicks, born on January 27 and 28, grow up over the past two months on the live Web cam at http://www.mysticaquarium.org/
“Learning to swim is the first step,” said Laurie Macha, supervisor of penguins and pinnipeds at Mystic Aquarium. “Penguin chicks tend to float very well, but they must learn to dive and navigate using their wings and feet. Chicks learn quickly, however, and will usually acquire these skills within a day.”
The chicks were hesitant to go into the water at first, but after being carefully guided in by penguin trainers, they took off, swimming around the exhibit and eventually finding their way back to the exhibit’s dry areas, only to jump back into the water after drying off.
The chicks were also introduced to a few of the colony’s more docile birds and will slowly be introduced to the aquarium’s 27 penguins to establish their places within the colony. By the end of April, the chicks will be on exhibit a few hours each day.
Today also marks the one-year anniversary of African penguin Blue-Blue’s first swim. Blue-Blue was the first chick to appear on a live Web cam on the aquarium’s Web site and is now about to molt for the first time. Black and white feathers will soon replace his dark gray plumage.
About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.
Contact: Becky Giantonio
(860) 572-5955, ext. 338
cell: (860) 514-9514