HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
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
rls@pa.urel.berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley
19-Dec-2000


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:11/3/2014)... from Australia report that low birth weight and preterm ... hip replacements in adulthood. Findings published in the American ... Research , indicate that low birth weight and pre-term ... due to OA as adults. , According to ... 25 are diagnosed with clinical OA. Symptoms of OA ...
(Date:11/2/2014)... (2 November 2014)—In support of a bold quest to ... Melinda Gates Foundation today announced an award of US$156 ... Initiative (MVI) in building new vaccines that will interrupt ... the "accelerating to zero" agenda. Such vaccines would ensure ... be called an "immunological bed net." , This ...
(Date:11/2/2014)... a bar and bump into a biologist . . . ... late-night nerd sketch, researchers have taken this premise and applied ... finding meaning in the rising oceans of genomic data. , ... that genome-wide studies are publishing at a dizzying rate. The ... signal from the noise (and there is no shortage of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Preterm, low birth-weight babies may need new hips in adulthood 2New malaria vaccines to prevent infection and block transmission get a shot in the arm 2New malaria vaccines to prevent infection and block transmission get a shot in the arm 3New malaria vaccines to prevent infection and block transmission get a shot in the arm 4Mutant models 2Mutant models 3Mutant models 4
(Date:11/27/2014)... Massachusetts, USA (PRWEB) November 26, 2014 ... more accuracy, additive systems to enable 3D manufacture at ... analyzing road conditions are among finalists in nine categories ... . The awards are sponsored by SPIE, the ... Photonics Media . , Winners will be announced by ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... In keeping with the holiday spirit, DNA ... Thanksgiving savings. The company is offering up a variety ... this holiday weekend as well as a photo contest ... Monday are right around the corner, and DNA Spectrum ... and those looking to explore their ancestry, health, and ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 The ETC (Emerging Technology ... innovation centers, announced today that applications for AccelerateBaltimore™ ... 1st. “Do you have a big idea?,” asked ... to know about it. AccelerateBaltimore helps you and ... in just 13 weeks.” Interested game changers ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 Continuing its award-winning streak, Nerium ... prestigious MarCom Awards for outstanding creative achievement by its ... MarCom Award, the organization’s top honor, in the Branding ... held in April of this year. The event showcased ... Additionally, Nerium was awarded a Gold MarCom Award in ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Finalists Named for 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation 2Finalists Named for 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation 3Finalists Named for 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation 4Finalists Named for 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation 5DNA Spectrum Offers Last Minute Thanksgiving Coupons 2DNA Spectrum Offers Last Minute Thanksgiving Coupons 3AccelerateBaltimore Applications to Close in 6 Days 2AccelerateBaltimore Applications to Close in 6 Days 3Nerium International™ Wins One Platinum, Two Gold MarCom Awards 2
Cached News: