Hey, Waddle This Way

* What's black and white and new at the zoo?

No, no, no. We're not talking about the baby panda at the National Zoo.

Four penguin chicks have hatched in the past six weeks at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Like panda Tai Shan, the penguin chicks are still too little to be on public display. They toddle around and eat smelt, a kind of fish, three times a day.

The next big step for the chicks will be learning to swim -- which they will do at 8 to 12 weeks, zookeepers say.

"Swimming lessons are my favorite time," said Rebecca Emminizer, who works with penguins at the zoo. "By the fifth or sixth lesson they finally learn they can stick their heads underwater."

The chicks probably will be put on display around the end of the year.

Speaking of black, white and adorable: The National Zoo's panda cub is getting bigger all the time, zoo officials say.

At an exam on Monday, Tai Shan weighed 151/2 pounds and was more than 28 inches long. He loves exploring -- even places where mom Mei Xiang doesn't want him to be. Sounds like any other toddler!

The public will be able to see the cub probably next month.

Penguins are popping at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.