Baby penguin hatched at Moody Gardens

The Gentoo penguin chick hatched just before the New Year on December 29, weighing 90 grams

January 7, 2011 1:29:57 PM PST
The first chick of this year's penguin breeding cycle at Moody Gardens has hatched. The Gentoo penguin chick hatched just before the New Year on December 29, weighing 90 grams. The chick is healthy and on exhibit in the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid with its mother. The sex of the chick, which can't be determined by exterior observation, will be unknown until biologists run blood tests. The Gentoo chick will be considered full grown in about two months.

"Right now the chick is tiny and nesting under its mother," said Diane Olsen, assistant curator at Moody Gardens. "It really is an adorable little bundle of fuzz."

The typical breeding cycle for Gentoo penguins runs from October to December. Olsen said Moody Gardens could see more Gentoo eggs hatch this month as well as some King penguin eggs.

Moody Gardens currently has six different species of penguins on exhibit at its aquarium, including Gentoo, King, Macaroni, Chinstrap, Northern Rockhopper and Southern Rockhopper penguins. These playful aquatic birds have been breeding at Moody Gardens for several years. The first penguin chick to hatch at the Moody Gardens aquarium did so in November 2005.

The public can view penguins at the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid. The penguins can also be seen online via the Moody Gardens Live Penguin Cam.