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Meet Calista and Carmen, Two Magellanic Penguins Named by Members at Shedd Aquarium

August 20, 2019

Two Magellanic penguin chicks, identifiable by their lighter gray feathers, in Polar Play Zone.

Shedd Aquarium officially announced the names of two new Magellanic penguin chicks (Spheniscus magellanicus) previously known as Chick 420 and 421. Members of the aquarium were offered an exclusive, week-long opportunity to vote on five pairs of names for the two birds. Out of 1,340 votes cast, Shedd’s members came through loud and clear, and the winning names are … Calista and Carmen!

The names, which were selected by the animal care team to reflect the geographic native habitats of Magellanic penguins, are derived from Isla Calista, Falkland Islands and Carmen, Argentina. Other name choices included Rosie and Reina, Sara and Solis or Loma and Lively, also derived from areas within the species’ southern range.

Guests and members at the aquarium might have a chance to see Calista (Chick 420) and Carmen (Chick 421) in Polar Play Zoneperiodically, where they were recently introduced to the habitat and the rest of the colony. Identifiable by their coloring, the two chicks are a bit lighter and grayer than the other penguins. It will be nearly a year until the chicks have full adult plumage – just like Niawho is over a year-old and just went through her first molt where she shed old feathers to make way for new growth.

In addition to naming the penguins, Shedd members have many benefits including unlimited free admission to the aquarium, sneak peeks of new animals and exhibits, and exclusive discounts for extraordinary experiences like Penguin Encounters running daily. All Shedd guests are also encouraged to check out new learning programs like Family First Saturdays, which will feature a Penguin Adventures theme on Saturday, Oct. 5. Membership contributions help support mission-fulfilling work – from conservation research to educational programs and rescue work to sustainability. More information on Shedd membership can be found on Shedd’s website.

BACKGROUND: Shedd Aquarium, a leader in animal care, welcomed two Magellanic penguin chicks following the annual breeding season that began with nesting in late March. Both eggs were laid by the same pair of penguins - Chile and JR. The newest penguin arrivals are Shedd's second and third Magellanic chicks born and bred at the aquarium, after Nia in 2018.

VISUALS: Photos and videos of Calista and Carmen’s introduction to the habitat can be found here:
Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Video credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin