Gay penguin couple hatches egg, welcomes first baby
Two penguins that formed a same-sex bond at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium have hatched their first egg, the BBC reports.
Sphen and Magic gained worldwide attention earlier this month when it was reported that the pair was expecting. Spehn and Magic, or "Sphengic," as they're called, became close during breeding season and started to collect pebbles together to create a nest.
The two male Gentoo penguins were given a dummy egg to pretend to take care of. After showing aquarium staff how committed they were to their "egg," the aquarium staff decided to do something special for the penguins by giving them a real one.
"They were absolute naturals and displayed great care for their egg, so much so, the team at Sea Life Sydney fostered a real egg to them from another couple who had two," the aquarium wrote on its website.
Sphen and Magic put their pebble nest to work and began incubating the egg. Like most penguin couples, the two swapped duties daily. While one penguin incubates the egg, the other patrols the perimeters of the nest to ward off danger.
On Friday, Sphen and Magic's egg hatched and a baby penguin was born. The baby was given its two dads' "celebrity couple" name, Sphengic, for now and it will live in the pebble nest its dads built, the BBC reports.
While scientists might argue that "gay" is a cultural term that only applies to humans, same-sex pairings have been observed in the wild in hundreds of animal species. Magic and Sphen — and their chick — are just the latest example capturing hearts across the globe.
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