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Ranking U.S. Sub/Antarctic Penguin Exhibits

Discussion in 'United States' started by Sphenisciologist, 7 Jul 2022.

  1. Sphenisciologist

    Sphenisciologist Well-Known Member

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    Hey all, in this thread I will be ranking all the penguin exhibits that have any of the Antarctic/sub-Antarctic penguin species.

    I will be judging based on design and exhibit quality. Those species include:
    • Adélie Penguin P. adeliae
    • Chinstrap Penguin P. antarcticus
    • Emperor Penguin A. forsteri
    • Gentoo Penguin P. papua
    • King Penguin A. patagonicus
    • Macaroni Penguin E. chrysolophus
    • Magellanic Penguin S. magellanicus
    • Southern Rockhopper Penguin E. chrysocome
    * - I’ve seen it in person.
    The list goes from best to worst.


    - Detroit Zoo
    - Moody Gardens
    - SeaWorld San Diego
    - Newport Aquarium
    - SeaWorld Orlando *
    - Central Park Zoo
    - Saint Louis Zoo *
    - Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
    - Indianapolis Zoo
    - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
    - SeaWorld San Antonio
    - San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
    - Wonders of Wildlife *
    - Aquarium of the Pacific
    - Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
    - Tennessee Aquarium *
    - Jacksonville Zoo
    - Bronx Zoo
    - Riverbanks Zoo
    - Kansas City Zoo
    - Shedd Aquarium *
    - Potter Park Zoo
    - Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
    - New England Aquarium
    - John Ball Zoo
    - Blank Park Zoo
    - Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
    - Fort Worth Zoo
    - Milwaukee County Zoo
    - Zoo Boise
     
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  2. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    This should be interesting indeed, given I'm pretty sure these two don't hold subantarctics last I was aware.

     
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  3. Sphenisciologist

    Sphenisciologist Well-Known Member

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    They both hold Magellanic penguins, which is considered to be a sub-Antarctic species of penguin. :p
     
  4. StoppableSan

    StoppableSan Well-Known Member

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    Do Magellanics count as subantarctics?
     
  5. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the southern end of their range is the Falkland Islands, which are in the sub-Antarctic zone. Every source I’ve found on sub-Antarctic penguins includes them in the list of penguin species.
     
  6. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    From a strict description-based standpoint, they should; they are found in the sub-Antarctic region. From a husbandry standpoint, the term is generally used for penguin species that require colder temperatures and subsequently different exhibits; in the US, this would mean all penguins excluding Little Blue and the Spheniscus genus (of which Magellanic is one). So it depends on what definition you want to go with. I'd say if you're comparing exhibits, comparing Magellanic to indoor cold-temp enclosures is a little bit like comparing apples to oranges since Magellanic are generally kept outdoors and thus their enclosures look different.

    Can you be more specific about what your criteria is here? It seems self-explanatory that you'd be basing exhibit rankings on exhibit quality, but exactly what features lead to some being ranked higher and some being ranked lower? Is there some kind of rubric system in place here?
     
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  7. Sphenisciologist

    Sphenisciologist Well-Known Member

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    Sure!
    It’s mostly just based on how visually appealing it is, adequate spacing depending on the number of birds, along with the species, and naturalistic design used in the exhibit. For example, I’ll compare two exhibit concepts.

    Concept #1:
    Size: 280 square feet
    Species: 12 Southern Rockhoppers and 8 Gentoos
    Exhibit Description: The viewing area is decent and the murals on the wall are nice, but the exhibit itself is not super appealing and nothing to brag about. The concrete by the edge of the water is concrete with no natural sub-strait or detail. The pool portion is also very small. There are some rocks in the back to make it look natural, but it’s overall not satisfying compared to other penguin exhibits.

    Concept #2:
    Size: 790 square feet
    Species: 16 Kings, 6 Chinstraps and 8 Macaroni’s
    Exhibit Design: Very well designed with lots of natural sub strait. There are realistic murals, tall grass and rock formations and it accurately represents a habitat in the sub-Antarctic region of the world. The swimming pool is also deep and large. However, the only setback is that the exhibit does not feel adequate for the amount of birds it holds. It could definitely be larger.

    So, based on these concepts, I would outweigh the pros and cons here.
    - Concept #1 Cons:
    Could be larger, not very natural design, small pool
    - Concept #2 Cons:
    Could be larger

    So, in this case, Concept #2 would get a higher ranking due to it’s pros outweighing the cons :p

    - GP
     
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  8. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    As Coelacanth observed, you are lumping together exhibits here that are not comparable. There are indoor polar exhibits with ice and there are outdoor exhibits for Magellanic penguins. The New England Aquarium has an indoor pool that is like the outdoor pools of San Francisco Zoo, Bronx Zoo, etc.
     
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  9. Sphenisciologist

    Sphenisciologist Well-Known Member

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    Update

    - Detroit Zoo
    - Moody Gardens
    - SeaWorld San Diego
    - Newport Aquarium
    - SeaWorld Orlando *
    - Central Park Zoo
    - Saint Louis Zoo *
    - Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
    - Indianapolis Zoo
    - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
    - SeaWorld San Antonio
    - Wonders of Wildlife *
    - Aquarium of the Pacific
    - Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
    - Tennessee Aquarium *
    - Riverbanks Zoo
    - Kansas City Zoo
    - Shedd Aquarium *
    - New England Aquarium
    - Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
    - Fort Worth Zoo
    - Milwaukee County Zoo
     
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  10. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The list is missing the ABQ Biopark Zoo which has gentoo, king and macaroni penguins in the Penguin Chill building. It's a pretty good habitat/building for these animals.
     
  11. Sphenisciologist

    Sphenisciologist Well-Known Member

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    I’ll add it, thanks!
     
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  12. Sphenisciologist

    Sphenisciologist Well-Known Member

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    Update

    - Detroit Zoo
    - Moody Gardens
    - SeaWorld San Diego
    - Newport Aquarium
    - SeaWorld Orlando *
    - Central Park Zoo
    - Saint Louis Zoo *
    - Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
    - Indianapolis Zoo
    - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
    - Albuquerque Biological Park
    - SeaWorld San Antonio
    - Wonders of Wildlife *
    - Aquarium of the Pacific
    - Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
    - Tennessee Aquarium *
    - Riverbanks Zoo
    - Kansas City Zoo
    - Shedd Aquarium *
    - New England Aquarium
    - Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
    - Fort Worth Zoo
    - Milwaukee County Zoo
     
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  13. geomorph

    geomorph Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I would group SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld San Antonio together since they are nearly identical design inside, with San Diego slightly better for species.
     
  14. Moebelle

    Moebelle Well-Known Member

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    I know some might disagree, but I find SeaWorld Orlando's Antarctica just barely superior to Detroit's. Its a toss up because they both offer their own immersive experiences that either aren't replicated often or replicated at all. In response to the list, it's certainly better than Newport's, a good chunk of the others on the list are. Omaha's can easily be put in the top 5 too.
     
  15. Sphenisciologist

    Sphenisciologist Well-Known Member

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    I would argue Orlando does have the edge over San Antonio because I admire the underwater design and the Empire of the Penguin area, plus they have Adelies and San Antonio doesn’t. San Diego does get an edge over both because of the emperors for me.

    At the end of the day, any facility that has penguins has a possibility of being my favorite.
     
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  16. Sphenisciologist

    Sphenisciologist Well-Known Member

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    Idk how I feel about this, Detroits immersive education on Antarctic history is just too admiring for me to pass up, as both an animal and geography nerd. With the edition of chinstraps, they have a pretty good mixed species habitat. San Diego is also nice though, with a great exhibit and the most Antarctic species.
     
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  17. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Does Seaworld Orlando still do the ride part? I was never able to do it as it was always closed when I went. Last time I was there it seemed to be closed permanently and it is not listed on the website.
     
  18. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    How many exhibits can be divided to keep non-breeders from disturbing breeding pairs?
    Also, it seems that king penguins prefer a flat area to walk out of water comfortably. Which zoos provide it?
     
  19. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    ABQ provides some pretty flat space for their penguins. It is divided between the different land parts of the building (all connected under or via water)
     
  20. Sphenisciologist

    Sphenisciologist Well-Known Member

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    Kansas City is also well at providing lots of flat space in their penguin exhibit.