Moody Gardens announced the birth of a new king penguin Friday, making it the first chick born this year of all five species of tuxedo-clad birds at the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid.
“King penguin chicks are cute in their own unique way,” said Diane Olsen, assistant curator, Moody Gardens.
The newborn born is the second chick for female Littlefoot and male Lando. Olsen said the baby bird is on exhibit with its parents right now and will be for three or so more weeks.
Being from the Southern Hemisphere of the world, and more specifically, South Georgia Island, the penguins observe opposite seasons from Texas. This makes winter in the Continental U.S. their summer time and the prime breeding season. King penguins, unlike their smaller counterparts such as chinstrap and gentoo penguins, carry the unhatched eggs and newborns in between their feet while the parents take turns. Because of the way the eggs are handled, penguin eggs are much thicker and more durable than regular bird eggs. The incubation period of this species of penguins is longer than that of the smaller species and lasts about two months. Once chicks are born, they also take longer to become full grown.
Because of their strong popularity, penguins play an influential role as ambassadors for wildlife conservation. You can watch the penguins at the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid or on the Live Penguin Cam at www.moodygardens.com/penguincam2.html. For information, please visit moodygardens.org or call 800-582-4673.