What creates the ability of penguins to live in very cold places?


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Penguins are able to survive some of the coldest temperatures on Earth through some really clever tricks. Here are some of my favorite penguin survival techniques:

  1. Being fat - Penguins use a layer of body fat to keep them insulated. This is especially true when swimming, as feathers would do very little to warm them in freezing cold water.
  2. Keeping their feet warm - If a human ever tried to stand on ice for any length of time, they'd probably get frostbite.

    Penguins avoid this by doing three things:

    - Regulating blood flow to their feet to give them much need warmth
    - Sitting on them to insulate them from cold wind
    - All their muscles and tendons required for moving their feet are actually not in the "foot or flipper area".

    This means their feet can be very cold, but still fully flexible, whereas humans would be frozen to the spot.
  3. They rock back on their heels - This minimizes the surface area of ice their feet are coming in contact with.

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