Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia » Science & Philosophy: Pebi- to History of Philosophy - Indifferentism » Penguins - Adaptations For Marine Life, Locomotion, Social Behavior, Nesting, Maintaining Body Temperature

Penguins - Adaptations For Marine Life

wings swimming body

Penguins have numerous adaptations to life in cold, marine conditions. The legs, effectively used as oars, are set wide apart and connect rather far back to the long and rounded body. Short, glossy feathers cover its body to form a dense, fur-like matting, which is waterproof and helps keep the bird warm. Although all of the bones needed for flight are present in its wings, they are tightly bound to each other by ligaments and are shortened and flattened. Given these adaptations, the wings have become unfoldable flippers used in swimming. The muscles in the chest, which are used to move its wings, are proportionately quite large, extending from the neck to the lower portion of the abdomen. The triangular tail is used for steering while swimming.


Penguins - Locomotion [next]

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