behavior · creativity · environment · happiness · health · mental health · play

Penguins get their own watery highway

I recently posted about the Philadelphia Zoo’s plans to open up their overhead walkways to a variety of different mammals. Well now an aquarium in Tokyo has opened a similar skyway… for penguins!

From Inhabitat:

The Sunshine Aquarium is the only place where you can see penguins fly (almost). -Inhabitat

At Tokyo’s Sunshine Aquarium, penguins are getting a taste of what flight might be like. The aquarium is currently hosting a special penguin exhibit that involves letting the penguins swim in the “Sunshine Aqua Ring”— which is normally reserved for the sea lions — for one hour each evening. So while they aren’t exactly taking flight, it’s still a unique way to view penguins that probably can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world.

On the roof, the open-air “Aqua Ring” is elevated about 7.5 feet off the ground, giving visitors an opportunity to view sea lions — and now penguins — swimming from beneath. (This videoshoes sea lions swimming laps in the Aqua Ring.) The “flying penguin” exhibit currently runs from 6:30 and 7:30 PM, and it is expected to run through September 2, 2012.

IF you just happen to be in Tokyo soon, do “fly” by and let me know what you think. This sounds like a great enrichment for the penguins as well as human visitors.

News highlights from last week

Scottish penguin knighted as part of 30-year service to Norwegian military. Technically it’s the third penguin to serve as the Norwegian mascot, but still, well earned I’m sure (too bad it’s not an emperor penguin).

Cemetery remains of two different cultures separated by several thousand years found in the same spot in the Sahara Desert (apparently much greener once). One woman and her two kids were buried on a bed of flowers; how sweet is that? Awww…

Mayan portal to the world of the dead FOUND! No, really.

Roman empress’ head found too ( not the actual head, just the oversized marble carving of it).

Mothering style can turn on nurturing genes in female mice. First off, who knew there were genes for nurturing?