- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
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.