FunNature & AnimalWhy are there penguins without feathers?

Why are there penguins without feathers?

pinguino-sin-plumas Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the University of Washington (USA) are trying to unravel a mystery: why are some penguin chickens losing their feathers? The increase of "naked" penguins – affected by the loss of feathers – in colonies on both sides of the South Atlantic has puzzled scientists for some years.

A new study published in the scientific journal Waterbirds reveals that the disorder was first observed in blackfoot penguins in South Africa in 2006 . In that year, 59% of the birds in a rehabilitation center lost their feathers. In 2007, those affected reached 97%. And the following year it was reduced to 20%. Chickens that lost their feathers took significantly longer to grow and gain weight than the rest.

The later observation that these same problems were affecting penguins in freedom from different points of the coasts of Argentina led the scientists to undertake this study. Without feathers, penguins need to expend more energy to maintain temperature (thermoregulation) . Possible causes of this disorder include pathogens, thyroid diseases, poor nutrition, or genetic disorders. "We need to study more about this disorder to help them, as penguins already have several problems with contamination from oil spills and climate variation," concludes Dee Boersma, co-author of the study.

Several species of sunbirds discovered

A team of Irish zoologists has discovered several cryptic species in two genera of sunbirds, Cinnyris and Leptocoma.

What is the origin of feathers?

Among the different known adaptations, that of the feathers is one of the most interesting, and everything indicates that they arose much earlier than is thought.

Three species of birds that we can find on the beach

The Iberian Peninsula is a privileged environment for bird watching, and on the beach there are several very abundant and easy to recognize species.

The sinuous flight of the quetzal (Muy Animal)

It is one of the most characteristic birds of Central America, icon of freedom, origin of myths, and national symbol of Guatemala.

Pelagornis: the largest bird in history

Pelagornis sandersi had a wingspan of seven meters and weighed around thirty kilos.