How Penguins Get Serious Air

Penguins can't fly - just ask any five-year-olds and she'll tell you that much - but that doesn't mean that penguins can't get massive air. Indeed, leaping out of the water to get airborne is a strategy they use to avoid getting eaten by predators.

Now, scientists have figured the secret of how the chubby birds get airborne:

... one aspect of this leaping behaviour has long puzzled biologists. As the birds swim toward the surface, they trail a wake of bubbles behind them. No one knew where these bubbles come from, or why there are there. [...]

... the researchers made some interesting discoveries. The bubbles of air being trailed by the penguins weren’t coming out of the birds’ lungs via the beak.

Instead, they were coming from the birds’ feathers.

“We were amazed to find that,” Professor Davenport tells me.

The researchers also realised that these air bubbles form a “coat” around the birds’ bodies as they rocket toward the surface at speeds of 19km an hour.

Matt Walker of BBC Nature's Wonder Monkey Blog explains: Link


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.... did they really just figure that out? I was at a penguin enclosure at a zoo recently and I could tell just by looking that there were air bubbles coming off their feathers. perhaps the bubbles stick better on penguins rather than, let's say ducks, due to there natural oils from their skin. regardless - I would think that the bubbles being from their feathers was obvious to anyone with functional eyes that cared to pay attention to such details.
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It was also obvious at one time that the best way to deal with someone suffering from a mental disorder was bloodletting. Anyone with functional eyes could see that the person who was running around wildly calmed down and acted relaxed after bloodletting. Some even took a nap.
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