Photo: This young chick was born in the not-old-fashioned way. Credit: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan One of three southern rockhopper penguin chicks recently hatched in Japan has been confirmed through DNA testing to have been born through artificial insemination.
Researchers from Kaiyukan Aquarium in Osaka led the birthing project, in concert with Kobe University's Kusunoki Hiroshi, an associate professor of agricultural sciences.
Southern rockhoppers live among islands off Antarctica. They're about a foot and a half tall (50 centimeters), and the new chick represents an artificial-first for the species.
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The news comes just a month or so after the announcement that Humboldt penguins, too, had been hatched for the first time through artificial insemination.
A penguin from Tokyo Sea Life Park was the sperm donor daddy. Back at the Kaiyukan Aquarium, three rockhopper females were artificially inseminated. Between the trio, five eggs were laid, three of which hatched, and one of which was a DNA match with the Tokyo Sea Life Park male.
The researchers said blood tests of the three females helped them plot an optimal time for insemination.
"We'll foster the chicks carefully so we can contribute to efforts to increase their offspring using technology," Kaiyukan official Kiyonori Nishida told Japan Times.
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