Aug 26, 2018 at 5:00 AM

Roto and Copper, two gentoo penguins at Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Utah, cared for three children together, taking turns feeding them. They are a social pair, just like Coco and Gossamer, a neighboring penguin couple that raised their own chicks.

Or did they?

We tend to think of penguins as monogamous, with parents forming a bond for life.

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But researchers have discovered that penguins sometimes stray. After sampling the DNA of 19 gentoo penguins at the aquarium, researchers revealed recently in ZooBiology that Roto is the father of two chicks believed to be Gossamer’s offspring.

The penguins are set to be part of a program pairing the most genetically diverse animals from different facilities, to ensure strong, healthy penguin populations.

The Associated Press; The New York Times

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