The physics of how gentoo penguins can swim speedily underwater

A gentoo penguin swimming

Enlarge / Gentoo penguins are the world’s quickest swimming birds, because of the distinctive form and construction of their wings. (credit score: Priya Venkatesh/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Gentoo penguins are the world’s quickest swimming birds, clocking in at most underwater speeds of as much as 36 km/h (about 22 mph). That is as a result of their wings have developed into flippers ultimate for shifting by way of water (albeit just about ineffective for flying within the air). Physicists have now used computational modeling of the hydrodynamics of penguin wings to glean further perception into the forces and flows that these wings create underwater. They concluded that the penguin’s capability to vary the angle of its wings whereas swimming is an important variable for producing thrust, in keeping with a latest paper revealed within the journal Physics of Fluids.

“Penguins’ superior swimming capability to start out/brake, speed up/decelerate, and switch swiftly is because of their freely waving wings,” stated co-author Prasert Prapamonthon of King Mongkut‘s Institute of Expertise Ladkrabang in Bangkok, Thailand. “They permit penguins to propel and maneuver within the water and keep steadiness on land. Our analysis staff is all the time interested by refined creatures in nature that may be useful to mankind.”

Scientists have lengthy been within the examine of aquatic animals. Such analysis might result in new designs that scale back drag on plane or helicopters. Or it will probably assist construct extra environment friendly bio-inspired robots for exploring and monitoring underwater environments—comparable to RoboKrill, a small, one-legged, 3D-printed robotic designed to imitate the leg motion of krill so it will probably transfer easily in underwater environments.

Learn 9 remaining paragraphs | Feedback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *