Sydney

Two male penguins who paired up as a "same-sex couple" have successfully incubated a baby chick and are "doting" on their tiny offspring, an Australian aquarium announced Friday.

Gentoo penguins Sphen and Magic are happily "taking turns caring for their baby chick," born on October 19 weighing 91 grams, said Tish Hannan of the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

Sphen and Magic had caught the attention of aquarium workers when they were constantly seen waddling around and going for swims together.

They then began to build a collective nest of pebbles, prompting the aquarium to provide a dummy egg for them to look after and, when they proved up to the task, a real egg.

The pair have bonded, Hannan, Sea Life's penguin department supervisor, said "They recognise each other's signature calls and songs.

"Only bonded penguins will be able to successfully find their partner using their calls when they are separated."

Unlike many mammal species, male and female penguins take on the same parenting roles, and share parental duties 50-50.

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