SeaWorld Announces First “Test-Tube Penguin”

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On Monday, July 11th, Sea World announced the birth of the world’s first test tube penguin at its Reproductive Research Center in San Diego. An artificially inseminated penguin gave birth to the world’s first test tube penguin. Biologists at SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE:SEAS)’s Reproductive Research Center can now claim to be the first to develop and successfully employ an artificial insemination using frozen-then-thawed Penguin semen.

The baby penguin, known simply as Magellan 184 — SeaWorld has too many penguins to name — just turned 12 weeks old, and are literally a miracle of modern animal science. Magellan 184 is a Magellanic penguin that is typically found in southernmost South America including coastal Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands.

Test-tube penguin was hand raised

The ground-breaking test-tube penguin began life as an egg in one of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE:SEAS)’s numerous incubators, but has grown up much like any other birds at the center. The baby penguin was hand-raised in the nursery of the penguin habitat and was almost constantly fed with a special formula made of ground herring fillets, krill, vitamins, minerals and water. She will be graduating to a diet of fish filets in the net  few weeks.

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Helping sperm “get further along”

“We keep these vials of semen here,” Justine O’Brien, a researcher at the Sea World center, explained to local San Diego press in an interview — referring to her and her colleague’s latest artificial insemination technique. “The semen is drawn up this catheter into the syringe. All we’re doing is helping the sperm get further along into that position for fertilization.”

SeaWorld: Artificial insemination helps preserve genetic diversity

The SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE:SEAS) researchers also noted that the new artificial insemination technique they developed could be useful in preserving genetic diversity in other species as well. “Artificial insemination and semen preservation allows us to maximize the genetic diversity of these populations, and that means that they remain healthy and stable into the future,” O’Brien said.