Fat Penguins Research Paper

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Walking, or rather waddling, across the ice, the king penguin makes the journey to shore fatter than when he left. The penguin’s sudden weight gain becomes a problem, causing them to slip and fall forward. This strange occurrence only seems to happen to the obese penguins who’ve gained weight in order to endure weeks of fasting A study was done on these penguins to see if the fat penguins are less steady on their feet than the thin penguins before and after fasting. The theory was that the penguins would lean forward or backwards to make up for the fat and keep their balance. However, the leaning angle of the obese penguins was no different than the leaning angle of the thin penguins, even though their center of mass was different. Most species, …show more content…

This resembles older bipedal animals who are conscious of their balance, meaning that all penguins are susceptible to falling and balance issues. The only difference between obese penguins and thin penguins is their lack of change after suddenly gaining weight. Due to their movement underwater, penguins have limited way of moving, which makes it hard for them to adapt to physical changes such as weight gain. It may make sense for the penguins to slow down their walking speed, but they move most fluently with the designated speed the group travels. Like most birds, king penguins move as a colony. They have control over the pace they move, but when traveling together they move at the same speed regardless of individual weight. After they gain weight, the penguin’s center of mass is shifted forward, causing their usual waddling speed to become too much, leaving them face first on the ice. Rather than shifting their leaning angle, the penguin rotates their lower body after gaining weight in an attempt to maintain balance. Still, there is only so much the king penguin can do to prevent falling, the limited movement of their flippers does not make up for the abrupt increase in

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