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Photos: Newborn King penguin chick

Photos: Newborn King penguin chick

by khou.com staff

khou.com

Posted on April 4, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 22 at 2:23 PM

GALVESTON, Texas – Moody Gardens is welcoming a new King penguin chick – the only one expected this breeding cycle.

The chick hatched on March 13, weighing 170 grams, at the Aquarium Pyramid.

"King penguin chicks are different from our other species because they are born with a very thin covering of down and look naked," said Diane Olsen, assistant curator at Moody Gardens. "It looks kind of like an alien, but it will get fluffier in the next few weeks."

Olsen said that like all other chicks, the new King penguin will only be on display with its parents for a limited time. Although adult penguins are expert swimmers, babies must be kept safely away from the exhibit waters until they become water-savvy.

The gender of the young chick is still unknown because penguins are not sexually dimorphic, meaning it is impossible to tell male and female penguins apart based solely on looks. While away from the exhibit, blood tests will be done to determine the sex of the hatchling.

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