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Nature & Environment

Penguin huddle secrets revealed

By T.K. Randall
June 7, 2011 · Comment icon 13 comments

Image Credit: George Murray Levick
Scientist discover penguins' secret to staying warm in the biting cold of the Antarctic.
One glance at a colony of penguins standing together amidst the howling, sub-zero winds of the Antarctic might give you the wrong impression - that the penguins in the middle are kept warm while those on the outside are left to freeze. Now scientists have used time-lapse footage to take a closer look at the structure of one such group, revealing that the penguins actually take it in turns to bear the full brunt of the freezing winds and spend an equal amount of time in the center where its warmer.
The mystery of how penguins stay warm while they huddle has been revealed by an international team of scientists. Emperor penguins survive the tough Antarctic winters by forming tightly packed clusters - but scientists have pondered how penguins on the outside stay as cosy as those in the centre.


Source: BBC News | Comments (13)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Soul Kitchen 13 years ago
Was this really a mystery?
Comment icon #5 Posted by philbo 13 years ago
Yes as comment one said....old news. Still it's for the benefit of everyone. Gotta feel it for the couple that dropped their egg though..kinda made the whole endurence of the journey pointless...
Comment icon #6 Posted by danielost 13 years ago
Yes as comment one said....old news. Still it's for the benefit of everyone. Gotta feel it for the couple that dropped their egg though..kinda made the whole endurence of the journey pointless... even those who drop the eggs are important in keeping the other birds warm. if these birds nested in a warmer place, other animals would be tring to eat the eggs.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Murrangurk 13 years ago
er...sorry, but they figured this out about 50 years ago. Why is this news now???
Comment icon #8 Posted by danielost 13 years ago
er...sorry, but they figured this out about 50 years ago. Why is this news now??? because they spent 2 billion dollars on it this time.
Comment icon #9 Posted by 27vet 13 years ago
Why don't they just build an igloo? They seem to be very smart birds.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Annabis 13 years ago
i concur.igloos would be make sense economically plus they could also insert fishing wholes for easy in and out access.
Comment icon #11 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: 13 years ago
While it may be old new to some, it's new to me. When I first read the title, I started picturing penguins conspiring in a huddle like those in the movie "Madagascar". Every once in a while, the cluster goes quiet and a sole penguin's head peaks out momentarily, then resumes plotting. Hahaha!
Comment icon #12 Posted by danielost 13 years ago
While it may be old new to some, it's new to me. When I first read the title, I started picturing penguins conspiring in a huddle like those in the movie "Madagascar". Every once in a while, the cluster goes quiet and a sole penguin's head peaks out momentarily, then resumes plotting. Hahaha! you mean those 4 birds who do not which one of them is the female.
Comment icon #13 Posted by danielost 13 years ago
just found out that the female penguins that return and their babies have died, will try to adopt babies whose moms died at sea. but they are a little to aggressive about it at times.


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