Magic and Sphen formed a bond before the 2018 mating season.
I’ve told you about this before, but every now and then I get an email from Ashley Madison with a new study released about some aspect of cheating. This week it was “A Day In The Life Of Cheaters,” which examines the habits of AM members when it comes to their extramarital extracurriculars, and of course, I read it. Who wouldn’t read that? (Don’t say you. You know you would.) Cheating is the ultimate monogamous marital betrayal. Most (if not all) of us have worried that one day we’ll look at our partner’s phone and see a text that says “I miss you babycakes,” or something equally sappy, that is NOT from us.
What the study said isn’t that important (But in case you’re curious, 33% of cheaters think of their affair partners as soon as they wake up. Cool. Cool.), what is (sadly) important is that the world is just all stocked up on shitty people. Not just all the shitty people we see in the news (Kavanaugh, Trump, Johnny Depp) but just shitty people literally everywhere. Everywhere you look there are people being shitty. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think penguins are doing better than people.
Case in point, these gay gentoo penguins from Sydney.
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Yes, I said gay penguins.
The first thing you should know about gentoo penguins (and a lot of penguins, actually) is, they are monogamous. Which is probably for the best, because there is no Penguin Ashley Madison. But seriously, penguins are probably monogamous for the same reason humans (allegedly) are, it seems to work out pretty well for raising kids and stuff. The second thing you should know about gentoo penguins (and penguins in general) is that the caring of their eggs (and the babies that come from them) is a 50/50 situation. Unlike human culture, where women who devote time to their career are selfish and men who devote time to their career are “providers,” penguin culture depends on a partnership that we haven’t seemed to figure out.
Back to the penguins at hand. Magic and Sphen formed a bond before the 2018 mating season. The couple began to collect pebbles and brood over them. After seeing this behavior, the zoo gave the penguins a dummy egg. Not entirely surprisingly, they knew exactly what to do. They nurtured their baby pebble just like they would a real egg.
Now, they have graduated to a foster egg. (Don’t worry about egg-napping, the zoo says, in the wild, gentoos usually only have enough resources to successfully raise one of their two eggs so "back-up" chick often dies, not now!) The egg is being incubated by the alternating warm bellies of Magic and Sphen, and should hatch in a few weeks (gestation is 34 days. Look at us learning things.)
Watch these two dude penguins be better parents than like 97% of humans.