How Penguins Get Serious Air

Alex Santoso 0

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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