CHICAGO
07/09/2013 11:58 am ET Updated Jul 09, 2013

Shedd Aquarium Welcomes Penguin Chick: Tiny Baby Rockhopper Penguin Hatches (PHOTOS)

Zoo babies are generally synonymous with "cute," but the new rockhopper penguin chick hatched at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium is in a category of adorable all its own.

On Tuesday, the nation's most-popular aquarium announced its newest zoo baby, a healthy rockhopper penguin hatched a little less than a month ago.

According to a release from the aquarium, the chick is "thriving before guests’ eyes each day -- gaining weight, eating and building a relationship with its feathery neighbors on exhibit in Polar Play Zone."

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BEFORE YOU GO
Shedd Aquarium Welcomes Baby Penguin!
PHOTO GALLERY
Shedd Aquarium Welcomes Baby Penguin!

The tiny chick weighed just 75 grams at birth, Shedd officials say. After putting on roughly 40 grams a day, the chick now punches in at a healthy 1,019 grams. For now, aquarium officials will have to wait to determine the sex of the chick since there is "no observable difference in male and female anatomy" of penguins.

Shedd Aquarium says the rockopper penguin population is considered "vulnerable" according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature due to disease and warming ocean temperatures.

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