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Penguins

Eggs with benefits: Sydney’s same-sex penguins become parents

SYDNEY: Two male penguins entrusted with the care of a fostered egg have welcomed a tiny sub-Antarctic Gentoo chick into the world, Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium said on Friday. The pair, Magic and Sphen, made headlines around the world this month when aquarium staff gave them the egg, following a successful trial with a dummy egg. The yet-to-be-named chick, weighing 91 gm (3.21 oz), was born on the evening of Oct. 19 and is the first sub-Antarctic penguin born at the aquarium. The couple, who formed a bond before the…

1.5 million penguins discovered on remote Antarctic islands: study

ANTARCTICA: A thriving hotspot of some 1.5 million Adelie penguins has been discovered on the remote Danger Islands in the east Antarctic, surprised scientists announced Friday. Just 160 kilometres (100 miles) away in the west Antarctic, the same species is in decline due to sea ice melt blamed on global warming, they said. The first complete census revealed that the Danger Islands host more than 750,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins, more than the rest of the Antarctic Peninsula region combined, the team reported…

Antarctica: a laboratory for climate change

A decade ago, a thick layer of ice covered the Collins Glacier on Antarctica's King George Island. Now, the rocky landscape is visible to the naked eye, in a region that is both a victim of and a laboratory for climate change. "I had the opportunity to come here over a 15-year period, and even within a human's lifetime, you can already see the changes brought about by climate change," the director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), Marcelo Leppe, told AFP. Observers can now see "rocks that we weren't seeing…

Cruel climate dilemma for King penguins: feed or breed

PARIS: Global warming is on track to wipe out 70 percent of the world's King penguins by century's end, putting the regal birds on a path towards extinction, researchers warned on Monday. As climate change drives away the fish and squid upon which the flightless creatures depend, the penguins must swim further afield to find sustenance for their hungry hatchlings on land. "For most colonies, the length of the summer trips by parents to get food will soon become so long that their offspring could starve while waiting,"…