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Long Beach Penguins Are Hooking Up

Aquarium of the Pacific staff say the 13 birds are ahead of breeding season, already hatching eggs and raising a chick -- and the public's invited.

Who can resist a sleek male in a tux?

The colony of 13 Magellanic penguins got a head start on their breeding season when they moved into the new June Keyes Penguin Habitat at the aquarium, reports the Press Telegram.

Assistant curator Rob Mortensen told reporters that caregivers were surprised when the flightless birds, most of whom arrived several months ago, began pairing up and laying eggs before their aquarium home was done.

One pair is already raising a chick and another group is attending to hatched eggs.

"We didn't expecting them to start breeding so quickly," Mortensen told the Press Telegram, "but apparently Mother Nature took over."

Apparently, Avery and Kate are a penguin pair and it appears penguin Robbie is displeased. Penguins Henry and Roxy are shaking up a lot in the nest room too.

You will be able to meet Avery, Floyd, Henry, Jeremy, Kate, Ludwig, Newsom, Noodles, Patsy, Robbie, Roxy, Shim and Whatever at the habitat--thanks to color coded and labeled ID tags on the penguins' wings. They can be seen up-close thanks to the new crawl-in space that allows visitors to feel as though they are inside the exhibit.

The June Keyes Penguin Habitat opened to the public Thursday. Maria the Magellanic mascot penguin was even spotted at the Long Beach Airport, which you can see video of here.

For more information on the June Keyes Penguin Habitat check out the website and Facebook page.

And for a fun video on another new Aquarium member, a newborn seal makes her first swim an hour after she's born, Six-year-old Belmont Shore Patch reader Morgan won the name the newborn seal contest with the name Sunshine.

Aquarium members are invited for previews on Monday and Tuesday but reservations are required. 

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