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Thread: Baby penguins protected against cold in massive huddle by older penguins

  1. #1
    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    out where the buses don't run

    Default Baby penguins protected against cold in massive huddle by older penguins

    Crazy Days and Nights

    See all those brown lines? They are baby penguins being protected against the cold by older penguins.

    That is a lot of penguins.
    Emperor Penguins Rotate Through Giant Huddle for Warmth | Wired Science |

    Emperor Penguins Rotate Through Giant Huddle for Warmth
    Massive huddles of male Emperor penguins are crucial to keeping warm during Antarcticaís brutal winter while they incubate their eggs.
    These tightly packed penguins shuffle en mass every 30 to 60 seconds, reordering themselves so every individual gets to cycle through the warm, central part of the huddle.
    The trick with these groups is to get the packing just right. If the penguins are too loosely arranged, they wonít stay warm enough, said Daniel Zitterbart, Barbara Wienecke, James Butler and Ben Fabry in a June 1 study in PloS One. But if theyíre too tightly jammed together, they canít rearrange themselves, and animals on the edge of the huddle wonít get a chance to warm up.
    By taking small, 2- to 4-inch steps every minute or so, the penguins achieve maximum packing density. Itís like tapping on a can of flour to jiggle everything into the bottom.
    But the shuffling also results in a wave of movement that rolls through the group and rotates every bird through the warmest parts of the huddle. Penguins can join the group on one end, cycle through the huddle and exit on the other end.

    This creeping movement also means that different groups can merge into larger huddles.
    The international team of researchers kept track of emperor penguin groups near a German research station in Antarctica using time-lapse photography. While charting the path of individuals over a four-hour period, the authors found that when the huddles remained still, they were tightly jammed. But once the shuffling wave started through the group, individuals ended up creeping their way through the huddle.
    The authors found that individual penguins donít change their position relative to their neighbors, nor do they force their way into or out of a huddle. The small steps the birds take are sufficient to move everyone around in a coordinated fashion.
    The scientists still donít know if one or more penguins start these waves of movement, or whether they follow any kind of hierarchy among individuals.

  2. #2
    Elite Member shedevilang's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    that's a lot of fucking penguins
    Silly bitches, twitchy links are NOT for kids!-Mel

  3. #3
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by shedevilang View Post
    that's a lot of fucking penguins
    Shedevil! That is not what they are doing! Pay attention!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  4. #4
    Elite Member Kathie_Moffett's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    just another freak in the freak kingdom



    Did you know that every time a parent gives in to their kid's whines and buys them candy at the checkout lane, a kitten gets diabetes?-Dlisted
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    -George Carlin

  5. #5
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Dec 2007


    That's insane. It almost doesn't look real. I love Penguins and I know this sounds stupid but I feel sorry for them lol.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Kathie - I had that Far Side comic in my cubicle at work for years. I loved it.
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