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 May 22, 2015 07:07 GMT
DAVID LETTERMAN - RATINGS
NEW YORK (AP) -- He didn't get Jay Leno's job as host of "The Tonight Show." And for all the accolades he got the other night, David Letterman didn't get the ratings Leno did for his farewell show. Nielsen reports the Letterman finale drew 13.76 million viewers. That was even more than any prime-time show Wednesday night. But it was short of the 14.6 million viewers Leno drew when he signed off for the last time on the show that Letterman coveted. Both exits take a back seat to the man who came before them. Johnny Carson's signoff in 1992 drew more than 41.4 million viewers -- more than Letterman and Leno combined. But in fairness, that was a time when most Americans were still getting TV off the air -- not through the myriad options viewers have today.
David Letterman's farewell didn't have quite as many viewers as Jay Leno had for his final show. AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel has the numbers.
<<CUT ..003 (05/22/15)>> 00:15 "the Winter Olympics"
Oscar Wells Gabriel
AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports David Letterman drew a larger-than-usual audience for his final show on Wednesday night.
"RED NOSE DAY"
UNDATED (AP) -- We don't know yet how much "Red Nose Day" raised on NBC last night. But with about an hour to go in the three-hour broadcast, Al Roker said they had brought in nearly $11 million. A host of celebrities took part, including Will Ferrell, Gwyneth Paltrow and the band Coldplay. A running bit on the show was Coldplay rehearsing "Game of Thrones: The Musical." Peter Dinklage from the HBO show sang lead. Organizers of Red Nose Day say the money raised will be used to fight childhood poverty in the U.S. and around the world.
Will Ferrell makes an appeal to viewers. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..006 (05/22/15)>> 00:07 "now we can"
Jane Krakowski, co-host
Co-host Jane Krakowski wraps up the three-hour, prime-time broadcast. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
JOSH DUGGAR RESIGNS FROM FAMILY AGENCY
NEW YORK (AP) -- Josh Duggar is out as a member of a Christian lobbying group. The Family Research Council says it has accepted the resignation of the reality TV star who's in TLC's "19 Kids and Counting." He isn't being specific as some reports have been on why he's stepping down. All he's saying about it -- is a Facebook apology, saying he was involved in bad behavior as a youth. The head of the Family Research Council says information coming out now would "make it difficult" for Duggar to be effective as a public face of the organization.
FLAVOR FLAV ARREST
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Some people complain they get pulled over by police when they aren't doing anything. Then, there's Flavor Flav. He faces a laundry list of charges after being arrested in Las Vegas early yesterday. He faces misdemeanors accusing him of DUI, speeding, and for having pot -- and an open container -- in his car. The Nevada Highway Patrol says Flav was doing 73 in a 45 mile-per-hour zone when the black Beemer he was driving was pulled over. He has since posted bail.
TAYLOR SHILLING "ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK"
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Is love in the air on "Orange Is the New Black?" Of course, those who really know aren't saying. But the actress who plays Piper says it seems everyone wants to know what happens in the new season between Piper and the former drug smuggler, Alex. She says she doesn't even know if the two will get together. But she notes her character "is changing" and is "finding herself in new ways." She says that ends up changing her relationships both inside and outside the lockup. The new season of "Orange" launches on Netflix next month.
Selenis Leyva, who plays Gloria Mendoza, says this coming season of "Orange Is the New Black" will get viewers' pulses racing.
UZO ADUBA - EMMY
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Uzo Aduba has warm memories from winning an Emmy for "Orange Is the New Black." And based on where she's had it sitting, some of those warm feelings likely came from the trophy, itself. She says she kept it on a ledge just over her radiator. No more. She says she recently bought a bookshelf -- and the Emmy makes its home there now.
Uzo Aduba says her Emmy now is in more suitable place in her home.
DR. OZ - HELPING HAND
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- He's done it again. Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz has stepped in to help a woman who fell ill at a Florida mall. News reports in Jacksonville say Dr. Oz was making an appearance at a mall when a woman collapsed -- and he went to help. Reports say he jumped a railing to get to the woman and look after her until paramedics arrived. Earlier this month, emergency responders say Dr. Oz helped treat two people injured in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Side RoadsTake a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
The Good LifeCelebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing 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 for 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!