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Antarctic Postcard from the Field: Two Weeks Old Penguin Chick - Windows to the Universe

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   Image courtesy of Jean Pennycook

From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, December 24, 2006

Two Weeks Old

One week later. Now the chicks are two weeks old. The parents are still in the guard stage (one parent always on the nest), but clearly the chicks are getting ready to be on their own. Only one chick at a time can be within the parent�s incubation pouch, so there is a constant pushing and shoving between these two chicks to get warm. Soon both parents will be foraging for food to meet the demands of these chicks, and they will be left alone, too big for the Skuas to carry off. When they hatched they weighed less than 100g. In 5 more weeks they will have grown to 30 times their birth weight. That is the same as a 7 lb human baby weighing 210 lbs in two months. YIKES! The parents have two chicks to feed, the ocean is still 2 miles away, their trips to bring back food are very demanding.

Penguin Science

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Postcards from the Field: Antarctica

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