December 1, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

How Does the Emperor Penguin Dive So Deep?

Using a small recorder mounted on an emperor penguin, researchers at Scripps Institute measured the bird diving as deep as 1,800 feet – six times the depth any human has survived unassisted.  This is much deeper than scientists had expected.  Live Science surmises that if we could figure out how they do it without getting the bends, it could “improve anesthesia techniques and aide in research of how to avoid tissue damage when the body is deprived of oxygen.”  It might also improve surgical techniques, Andrea Thompson wrote.

Who would have imagined a bird being a champion deep-sea diver?  The diversity and talents of birds should turn us all into bird admirers and bird watchers.  Watch for a sparrow or hummingbird and consider how different it is to an emperor penguin, or an ostrich, or a peregrine falcon.  Yet the sparrow is no less intelligently designed and amazing in its own ways, too.  Watch for the birds in your vicinity and learn something about them on

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