CINCINNATI — Two of the Cincinnati Zoo’s little blue penguin chicks have out-of-this-world names straight from the red planet.
The zoo introduced Rover and Mars, who hatched four weeks ago, on Friday. The names were inspired by NASA’s successful landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars Thursday afternoon.
Perseverance will spend the next several years exploring Mars, taking samples and helping scientists investigate the possibility of past life 128 million miles from Earth.
Mars and Rover the penguins have much less riding on their shoulders — their schedule includes naps, snacks and joining the rest of the little blue penguin colony in Roo Valley during the spring.
Little blue penguins, also known as fairy penguins, are the smallest known penguin species and live natively in Australia and New Zealand. Although Mars and Rover are all fluff right now, they’ll eventually grow the iridescent blue feathers that give their species its common name.