Monday, June 28, 2010

Little Penguin

Little Penguin has donned her pompom hat and rainbow scarf in preparation for a cold Antarctic winter.

So why no fluffy ugg boots?

Because penguin have very special feet, their lipids are unsaturated - unsaturated fats do not freeze the same way saturated fats do.

Here's someone's answer from Yahoo Answers because I do not contain unsaturated fats and am starting to get a bit chilly in the finger department. Plus I'm tired and lazy:

The system that stops a penguin's foot from freezing is very elaborate and sophisticated and employs two mechanisms.

The first one allows the penguin to control the rate of blood flowing to its feet by varying the diameter of arterial vessels supplying the blood. In cold conditions the flow is reduced, when it is warm the flow increases.

The second mechanism takes the form of 'counter current heat exchangers' at the top of the legs. The arteries, which supply warm blood and oxygen to the penguin's feet break up into many small vessels which are closely linked to similar numbers of venous vessels bringing cold blood back from the feet. So, when heat is lost from the arterial vessels, the venous vessels running in the opposite direction pick it up and carry it back through the body, rather than out through the feet. This means that in the very remote regions of the skin, cells get oxygen but heat isn't lost through this skin.

From someone called "Daisy"

Okay, long story short - it's a cute bird in a hat. Do we really NEED an explaination?

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