Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Antartic* (for Antarctic*)

In Canada the summer is taking a while to heat up, so looking at this picture isn't the refreshing treat it normally might be in July.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the lowest recoded temperature on Earth was in Antarctica at Vostok station: -89.2°C / -128.6°F on July 21, 1983.

Antarctic penguins stay warm by being large (the Emperor Penguin weighs around 30 kg / 66 lb, keeping a low surface area : volume ratio), and through a layer of fat under the skin that keeps them insulated. They also stand on their heels and tail feathers when on the ice or snow, reducing the surface area for the cold to enter their body, and they keep warm by huddling together.

When penguins get too hot from being active, they can lose this heat through their flippers and feet.

Antartic* is a high probability typing error on the Ballard list. Don't let your own flippers make this typo!

(Penguin photograph from CoolAntarctica.com)

Leanne Olson

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