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The internet’s favorite gay penguin couple are now the proud fathers of a newly hatched penguin chick.
The famous gentoo penguin pair at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Sphen and Magic, first made a splash heard around the globe with their courtship. Aquarium workers said they always saw the two males “waddling around and going for swims together.” Things went from flirty to full-blown romantic when the penguins started giving each other pebbles, the clearest way a penguin can express to another that they’d like to become an official pair.
Since then, Sphen and Magic, affectionately referred to as a couple as Sphengic, have taken on the ultimate couple’s project: a baby. They built a nest of pebbles for an egg, and workers, playing along, gave them a dummy egg to place in the nest. Then a little miracle happened for the young gay couple; a hetero penguin couple laid an extra egg during the breeding season. The aquarium workers let Sphengic adopt the extra egg, and the two of them began caring for it together. According to the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, gentoo penguins don’t divide up egg-rearing duties by gender like many other penguin species do. Rather, the couple takes turns, alternatively incubating the egg and patrolling the area to keep their partner and offspring safe.
After sharing all that hard work, Sphengic welcomed their new baby into the world on Friday, Oct. 19. The precious, fuzzy chick weighs only 91 grams, and is also the first chick born to the colony since 2016. Penguin chicks can’t be sexed until they are two months old, so, for now, they’re just calling them Baby Sphengic.
The aquarium released a photo of Baby Sphengic Thursday night and reported in a statement that Sphen and Magic are “co-parenting exceptionally well to raise their young.”
The aquarium also said that it hopes Baby Sphengic will grow up to be an ambassador for their species and that they will “help educate the public on the precious species and the plight that they face in the wild.”
H/T the Cut
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.