Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Scoop on Penguins - Feathered Fish or Bodacious Bird?

What swims like an olympic champion? What plunges underwater holding its breath like a free diver? What slides like a baseball player racing to reach base?

A penguin, of course!

Penguins are birds that can toboggan on ice using their webbed feet to propel them. The fastest penguin, the gentoo, can swim about 15 miles per hour, faster than long-distance runners. Penguins can also dive very deep, some to depths of about 1,750 feet. They use their wings (which are really like flippers) to propel themselves in the water. It looks as if they are “flying” underwater, something they cannot do in the air.

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