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Boys or girls – waddle they be? The results are in and on Thursday, June 6 at 11 a.m., Mystic Aquarium will announce the genders of its two African penguin chicks, Purple Red and Purple Gray. The genders were determined by DNA testing because male and female African penguins do not differ in appearance.
Now four months old, the chicks are fully weaned and acclimated to the aquarium’s 15 male and 11 female adult African penguins. Aquarium guests will have an opportunity to guess the chicks’ genders prior to the reveal, and two lucky guests will walk away with one-of-a-kind penguin paintings created by the chicks’ fathers, Red Green and Gray Silver. The paintings will be purple, red and gray, and the fathers will paint a final layer of blue or pink following the reveal.
Mystic Aquarium’s African penguins are named by colors that represent numbers. As the 50th and 51st penguins to enter the aquarium’s colony, purple represents the number five, red represents the number zero and gray represents the number one. On Thursday, the chicks will receive new identification bracelets that include either a blue or pink gender bead.
Purple Red hatched on Feb. 1 and Purple Gray hatched on Feb. 10. Mystic Aquarium participates in the Species Survival Plan, a collaborative breeding program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The African penguin is an endangered species.
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