Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a period or two of showers and storms. Ending as the afternoon goes on. High in the mid/upper 80s. A west, then northwest wind ... More...
Tennessee Aquarium Announces First Penguin Chick of 2014
There's a fluffy new face in the Tennessee Aquarium's Penguins' Rock exhibit. Aviculturists welcomed the new chick to the colony in June. The proud parents, "Chaos" and "Merlin," stay busy snuggling their baby in the nest and seem to enjoy showing it off to everyone.
"Both parents have very laid back personalities, which is helpful when we need to do weight checks and clean the nest," said senior aviculturist Amy Graves. "They're also a great parental team. Merlin serves as protector and Chaos does a great job feeding."
CLICK HERE for YouTube video
Chaos certainly keeps busy since this tiny bird has a giant appetite. Aquarium guests can have fun eavesdropping on this family. A microphone inside the exhibit picks up the chick's vocalizations whenever it begs to be fed, which seems to be almost constantly lately. The sounds of the colony are audible throughout Penguins' Rock. But, mom responds to the begging and appears to be keeping pace. Her baby consistently weighs in at the high end of the healthy range during veterinary exams. "Baby penguins should experience rapid growth," said Graves. "We track each chick's progress through frequent weigh-ins and compare the results to the ranges we know are considered healthy. Since this penguin is staying pretty pudgy, it's clear that the parents are doing a great job with feeding."
The Aquarium's penguin experts hope this "big mac" sets a good example for the chicks that follow it. Both in demeanor and rapid growth.
Last year aviculturists had their hands full supplementing feedings for a couple of chicks up to five times each day when sluggish weight gains indicated the parents were not delivering enough nutrition on their own.
Aviculturist Loribeth Aldrich says even though the chick is very vocal, it seems to have inherited its parent's demeanor. "He's pretty laid-back and easygoing," said Aldrich. "The chick doesn't mind being handled during exams or being photographed."
This is quite a switch from "Pepper," another Macaroni who was also the Aquarium's very first baby penguin hatchling in 2009. "She was a feisty bird almost from the day she hatched," said Aldrich.
Earlier this year, Pepper and ten other penguins that were reared at the Aquarium were moved to other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They will have the opportunity to have offspring of their own while bolstering the overall genetic diversity of the Macaroni and Gentoo population in human care. This transfer also affords the Aquarium's colony more flipper room during the breeding season.
This new Macaroni penguin is the first for the 2014 season and it's possible that aviculturists will remain very busy this season with additional chicks.
Visitors can see the new chick inside an acrylic "playpen" on the right-hand side of the exhibit. It will remain inside this protective barrier for several more weeks before it will be allowed to roam outside the nest. "Penguins need their waterproof swim feathers before they are ready to go out on their own," said Graves. "Right now, the chick is still dependent on mom and dad, but they seem to like that just fine."
The chick's gender will be determined during a blood test later this year. At that time, a Facebook contest is planned to find the perfect name for him or her.
Guests who may want a "bird's eye" view during nesting season, can choose to add the Ocean Journey Backstage Pass to their regular Aquarium admission. This behind-the-scenes experience allows guests into one of the "Keepers Only" areas to see the nesting penguins, eggs and at least one plump little penguin.
More Entertainment News
Last Update on July 23, 2014 07:32 GMT
CLEANING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Call it a case of fighting water pollution with pop culture. Back on Monday, the official Twitter account for the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water made it appear the government had teamed up with the Kardashian clan to clean the nation's waterways. There was a message about the online game "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood." The video game lets players do important things like appear at red carpets, do photo shoots and other essential acts to help the environment. The EPA says the off-topic tweet was posted by an intern. But before it was pulled down, it drew a joking comment from the account of 88-year-old congressman John Dingell. It asked: What is a Kardashian? The following day Dingell's account indicated the lawmaker now knew what a Kardashian is -- but said that only led to more questions.
Environmental Protection Agency site: http://www.epa.gov
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Michael Douglas had the option of changing the script for the movie "And So It Goes" to avoid uncomfortable parallels with his own life. He chose not to do that. Douglas says his character's son in "And So It Goes" has drug problems, as does his own son, Cameron. He recalls reading the script and shaking his head with a smile. Douglas says he didn't want to change the story because he didn't know what the alternative would be. "And So It Goes" opens Friday.
Michael Douglas says he had an open mind about playing the father whose son has drug problems in "And So It Goes."
<<CUT ..003 (07/23/14)>> 00:14 "seen on screen"
Michael Douglas, actor
Michael Douglas says he and director Rob Reiner were in a movie called "Summertree."
<<CUT ..004 (07/23/14)>> 00:14 "many of us"
Michael Douglas, actor
Michael Douglas says he bonds with director Rob Reiner because they have similar backgrounds.
"DOWNTON ABBEY" RETURNS
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- No surprise for the legion of "Downton Abbey" fans. The show will return for a fifth season on PBS in January. The public broadcasting outlet is promising that the show "will have some surprises in it" when it returns. But that assumes U.S. viewers won't be creeping across the pond to glean hints about the show from British online posts, because the show airs earlier in England than it does here. Meanwhile the return date for another PBS series is in limbo. PBS chief Paula Kerger says they will have to wait to find out when the mystery "Sherlock" will finish production before a slot can be determined.
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Fans of X-Men get to enter the mind of Professor X. The Comic-Con pop-culture convention is offering a virtual reality experience, promoting the fall Blu-ray release of "X-Men: Days of Future Past." Visitors to the 20th Century Fox exhibit get to experience the fictional Cerebro technology used to track the X-men mutants. The 90-second virtual adventure is done through an Oculus Rift 3-D headset, while fans sit in Professor X's wheelchair. Comic-Con opens tomorrow in San Diego.
It's a virtual reality trip, into the mind of Professor X. The AP's Jamie Friar reports on one of the attractions at Comic-Con.
<<CUT ..007 (07/23/14)>> 00:07 "to hope again"
Here's Patrick Stewart as Professor X in the "X-Men: Days of Future Past' trailer. ((cut used in wrap))
<<CUT ..008 (07/23/14)>> 00:05 "together, the X-Men"
Here's Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, in the "X-Men: Days of Future Past" trailer.
DENZEL WASHINGTON TO SHOW FILM AT TORONTO FESTIVAL
NEW YORK (AP) -- The names are big in Hollywood: Denzel Washington, Chris Rock and Kate Winslet. But those names will also be prominent in Toronto -- home of an International Film Festival that gets under way in September. Washington and Rock will be among those rolling out films at the event. And Winslet will star in "A Little Chaos," the film that will close out the festival. The Toronto film fest is the considered a major event to help launch into Hollywood's awards season.
The Good LifeCelebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
SideroadsTake a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Road TrippinCome Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
Closings and DelaysThese are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
Educator of the YearVote now on your favorite candidate teacher for the Educator of the Year!
Deaf & Hard of HearingInformation provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
Sponsored EventsCheck Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!