It’s time to check in with African Penguin chicks Pumpkin and Patch, who hatched at the Aquarium back in October! Aside from the fact that they’re completely adorable, one thing is clear when looking at them: just how quickly they’ve grown! It literally seems like yesterday that they were the size of a golf ball, and look at them now.
During their most recent checkup this morning, 42-day old Pumpkin weighed in at a healthy 4.65 pounds. And little (or not so little…) Patch is gaining on him! At 38 days old, Patch is now weighing in at 4.40 pounds.
The two are becoming so identical that our biologists decided to paint Pumpkin’s toes with nail polish (orange, of course!) – A perfectly safe practice common in zoos and aquariums to allow biologists to quickly differentiate between animals.
The entire growth process for African Penguins is typically only 2-3 months, although it takes them over a year until they undergo their complete molt and reveal the common African Penguin markings. Our other ‘newborn’ Cassie – born last January – still has her juvenile gray feathers. It won’t be till about springtime that she receives her new coloration.
Another big milestone was recently reached when Pumpkin and Patch graduated to whole foods! That’s right: they’re now both eating fish all on their own – no more of the regurgitated stuff! Only delicious capelin to digest.
Both Pumpkin and Patch seem to be thriving in each others’ company. Although their thick, fluffy, super-soft down feathers allow them to thermoregulate their body temperatures, they still continue to huddle close to each other in their nest and keep each other extra warm and cozy.
What milestones will be reached next week?! Be sure to follow our blog as we share ongoing updates on these brand new additions!