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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: Emperor Penguins Sport Freezing Tuxedoes
5 March 2013 7:15 pm
Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) are famous for their dapper outerwear, but that feather coat actually gets colder than the surrounding frigid air, according to a study published online today in Biology Letters. A team of Scottish and French scientists took hundreds of thermal images (like the one above) of emperor penguins at a breeding colony in Antarctica. This provided a snapshot of the birds' body heat regulation in the harsh environment. On average, a penguin's body surface temperature dropped as low as -23°C, about 3° below air temperature. The coat radiates more heat to the cold sky than it absorbs from its surroundings, the team reports, causing the temperature to drop below that of the surrounding air, while thick insulation reduces body heat loss from the skin. Emperor penguins do have "hot spots": their eyes, flippers, and feet. But, special vessels circulate blood away from these surfaces to keep heat loss to a minimum.
See more ScienceShots.