A team of scientists has been attempting to determine why penguins are unable to take to the skies.
The answer lies in the birds' ability to swim, what they lack in flying skills they make up for while underwater. It turns out that as a species improves its diving capabilities it loses its ability to fly and vice-versa, one has to be sacrificed to become a master of the other.
To determine this the team took a close look at species of seabirds that are able to dive but still maintain at least some ability to fly. "Basically, they have to reduce their wings or grow larger to improve their diving, and both would make flying impossible," said ornithologist Robert Ricklefs.
"The researchers tagged murres with recorders that measured the time of dives as well as depth and temperature, and cormorants with data-loggers that measured depth, temperature and acceleration changes during dives."
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