The birdkeeper at Sea Life Melbourne says that same-sex penguin couple is common and can incubate eggs to become the parents.
The same-sex penguin couple constitutes both male penguins and neither of them can lay an egg. They chose to go with their heart and had coupled up at the Melbourne aquarium.
The couples are made up of Branston and Tiger and Klaus and Jones. These gentoo penguins have chosen to team up right before the nesting season.
Same-sex penguin couple was quite common to see in nature and the bird keeper, Tanith Davis, said that the institution fostered eggs for these couples.
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Courting Of The Same-Sex Penguin Couple
The same-sex penguin couple courts each other and incubates an egg just like a normal male-female couple. The male pair can not lay their own eggs so the aquarium lends them an egg to incubate from another couple. This year, Jones and Klaus and Tiger, and Branston will spend their nesting season together.
The Melbourne aquarium has seen various same-sex penguin couples in their history and they were considered to be excellent parents.
The Gentoo penguins have the habit of nesting once a year, which is right before the spring starts. Both the sexes share their parenting duties and collect rocks and stones to build a small but comfortable home for their laid eggs. The eggs that they lay weighs around 130g and the eggs hatch after 30-35 days.
The chicks stay in the nests for 30 days more before they join the other chicks in the colony. The chicks form creches and go out to sea after 80 to 100 days. Gentoo falls under the least concern status, as per the IUCN Red List in 2019. They are considered to have a stable population but rapid decline in some regions has led to a steady decline in the total population.
Same-sex sexual actions have been observed in 1,500 animal species and are considered to be quite common now. This was established by a study done in 2019, published in the journal of Nature Ecology and Evolution.
Image credits: Sea Life Melbourne