Story at a glance
- Two same-sex penguin partnerships formed this nesting season at the Melbourne Aquarium.
- The aquarium’s lead bird keeper Tanith Davis said the couplings are not uncommon and that the facility frequently fosters eggs to same-sex Gentoo partnerships.
- “Same-sex penguin pairs will court each other and incubate an egg exactly the same way as a male-female pair,” she said.
Two same-sex penguin partnerships formed this nesting season at the Melbourne Aquariuum.
Tiger and Branston and Jones and Klaus are the latest same-sex pairings, the aquarium announced, according to The Australian Associated Press (AAP).
Did we get your attention? Two pairs of male Gentoo Penguins have become foster dads at @melbaquarium.
Although they can’t lay an egg, the same-sex couples can be doting dads to a fostered egg and share parenting roles, like collecting rocks and incubating bub. pic.twitter.com/tTZR94aKdK
— 10 News First Melbourne (@10NewsFirstMelb) August 18, 2021
The aquarium’s lead bird keeper Tanith Davis told the AAP the couplings are not uncommon and the facility frequently fosters eggs to same-sex Gentoo partnerships.
“Same-sex penguin pairs will court each other and incubate an egg exactly the same way as a male-female pair,” she said.
“As male-male pairs can’t lay their own eggs, we will sometimes foster an egg to them from another pair,” she added.
“Sea Life Melbourne has had many same-sex couples in our breeding history, and they have been doting parents,” she concluded.
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Gentoo penguins nest once per year prior to the beginning of spring and share parental responsibilities and nesting duties.
Researchers have observed same-sex sexual behavior among more than 1,500 species, according to a 2019 study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.
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