Waddling is a good way to make up for short legs - at least for penguins, say UC Berkeley researchers

Penguins are notoriously inefficient walkers, expending twice as much energy in walking a given distance as any other animal of the same weight.

But don't blame it on their funny, waddling gait.

A new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, shows that waddling actually helps penguins conserve energy. The real problem is their short legs.

"Our findings indicate that walking is expensive for penguins not because of their waddling, but because they have such short legs that require their leg muscles to generate force very quickly when they walk," said Timothy Griffin, an integrative biology graduate student in UC Berkeley's College of Letters & Science. "When we compare penguins to animals with similar leg lengths, they burn about the same amount of calories per unit mass."

Griffin and Rodger Kram, a former assistant professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley, report their findings in the Dec. 21/28 issue of the journal Nature. Kram is now in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The results have implications not only for the ecology and evolution of penguins, but for waddling behavior in other animals, and maybe even pregnant women.

"Our knowledge gained from penguins provides novel insight into the gait mechanics of humans with increased lateral movements, such as in pregnant women or obese individuals," Griffin said. "This information may lead to improved understanding, evaluation and treatment of individuals with gait disabilities."

Griffin and Kram performed their experiments on Emperor penguins at San Diego Sea World's "Penguin Encounter" exhibit, a large refrigerated penguin city housing some half dozen penguin species. With the help of Sea World staff, the UC Berkeley scientists and their student team nudged the naturally curious penguins across a force platform to measure the side-to-side and fore-and-aft forces they exert while walking

Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Hopkins scientists overcome main obstacle to making tons of short, drug-like proteins
2. New approach offers potential drug-discovery shortcut
3. Scientists develop new cloning technique that dramatically shortens the search for genes
4. Two-drug approach might shorten painful labor, reduce Caesarean sections
5. Accelerated global warming from nutrient shortages for trees and soils
6. Estrogen improves short term memory and oral reading in midlife postmenopausal women
7. Worlds protected areas suffer from $2.5 billion annual shortfall
8. Platelet refrigeration method may ease shortages for transfusions, researchers report in Science
9. Telomere shortening may be early marker of cancer activity
10. Pitt researchers find genes for depression; Play role in mood disorders, shorter lifespan
11. Strategies to boost womens multivitamin use fall short

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Today, ... announced a partnership with 2XU, a global leader ... deliver a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. ... other athletes to monitor key biometrics to improve ... strategic partnership, the two companies will bring together the ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ... that they can be quantitatively analyzed with SMI,s analysis ... , October 28-29, 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze ... tracking videos created with SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... ReportnsReports.com adds Biometrics Market Shares, Strategies ... well as Emerging Biometrics Technologies: Global ... its collection of IT and Telecommunications ... --> http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/427352-biometrics-market-shares-market-strategies-and-market-forecasts-2015-to-2021.html . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 --> ... companion diagnostics is one of the major ... pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic manufacturers working together ... http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/global-cancer-biomarkers-market-2015-2019-market-report.html . --> http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/global-cancer-biomarkers-market-2015-2019-market-report.html ... global cancer biomarkers market spread across 89 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 2 nouvelles ... fois les différences entre les souches bactériennes retrouvées ... des êtres humains . Ces recherches  ouvrent ... envisager la prise en charge efficace de l,un ... chez les chats .    --> 2 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the ... other AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced Dr. Bruce ... Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service ... , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist of turfgrass pathology in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: