Scientists have discovered how penguins lost ability to fly

Study results explain why penguins became awkward and slow divers. Scientists have discovered how penguins lost their ability to fly.Photos from open sources Did these ancient and clumsy birds to fly? Yes, according to Discovery News. Penguins lost ability to fly millions of years ago and recent results studies explain why these birds became clumsy and sluggish divers, instead of beautiful winged pilots, like other representatives of their class. Study published in the latest issue of the National Academy of Sciences, found out that there is mutually exclusive things – good fins cannot serve for flights. “As soon as the penguins stopped flying, structure changes wing and whole body – its size and shape probably followed very fast because the flight no longer installed physical restrictions on the formation of the body, “said one of the authors research by Robert Ricklefs in an interview for Discovery News. “Worth note that penguins are attacked by predators in the water much more often than when they are on earth, therefore there was an evolutionary need for penguin bodies were adapted for maximum swimming and diving, ” – added Ricklefs, who teaches biology at the university. Missouri in St. Louis. Ricklefs, lead author of the study, Kyle Elliot and their team first wondered why the ubiquitous black and white birds have lost their ability to fly yet millions of years ago, given the huge role it plays ability to fly. Emperor penguins pass their hard with a comical gait of up to 32 miles between their nest and the sea. Sometimes the transition takes several days, and this time could be reduced to just a few hours if they could fly. Why can’t they fly today? Or swim or dive to solve this riddle, researchers focused on the birds – especially on the guillemot, which can and swim and dive. Scientists have caught about 40 wild birds and equipped their special equipment to measure energy consumption during flight time. In the end, in this study, scientists discovered new world record. The guillemots and the great cormorants it turns out the highest energy expenditures ever registered with any flying animal. “Key costs energies occur when you rise into the air, “explained Ricklefs. Despite the fact that guillemots can both fly and swim, it seems that there are some threshold where one activity is ahead of another in development. If a bird has to fly long distances, it will lose in ability to swim and dive. On the other hand, if existence the bird depends on its ability to swim or dive, for hunting or the need to hide from the enemy will be observed a tendency to lose her flying skills. In the case of penguins, such skills disappeared completely along with the wings that evolved into marine fins of the same type as marine mammals. Research also sheds light on how prehistoric flying penguins looked and acted. “Flying ancestors penguins probably didn’t differ too much in appearance from guillemots and her relatives, and probably led the same way of life, ” – said Ricklefs. The reasons for wingless penguins differ from why without wings there were ostriches and emu ostriches, which are not swim and do not dive. These big birds traded flights for ability to run, and quite fast. Probably ancestors ostriches and emu ostriches there was no need for seasonal flights or migrations. They may have lived on the southern continents where relatively few predators inhabited. Their strong legs were enough, there was no need to rely on a flight. Scientists Tony Diamond from the University of New Brunswick; James Lovvorn from University of Southern Illinois and Daniel Roby from the Department of fishing and wildlife agree with the findings of the latter research reported in Discovery News. Diamond believes that their work “explores the unique diversity of mobility patterns in birds – walking, running, swimming, flying – which clarify and explain evolutionary components perplexing scientists. “Rory Wilson of Swansea University, added that it would be important to consider the study of different types of plumage – this is a question that directly affects heat retention. Heat loss in its queue can be reflected in the amount of energy that spends a bird in the process of flying or swimming.

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