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Animals: Why penguins can’t fly even though they have wings

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There are 18 types of penguins in the world, and all penguins are classified as birds. In other words, penguins are birds, not mammals. But nevertheless, penguins can’t fly. Does anyone have any doubts about this? Penguins have wings. I have an article about why they can’t fly despite this. This is a very rare phenomenon, and there are very few animals that cannot fly even though they have wings.

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Penguins’ ancestors could fly in the sky

Of the 18 types of penguins, none can fly. However, it is speculated that the penguins’ ancestors were free to fly in the sky. The reason is that there is a bone called “coccyx” in the tail of the penguin, and the coccyx is a trace of the long tail that is common to flying birds. The penguins that exist today cannot fly in the sky, but it is believed that they no longer need flying ability in the process of evolution.

Penguins history

The common ancestor of today’s penguins is believed to be the region around Antarctica. There are many penguins in Antarctica, but none in the North Pole. But there was also a penguin-like bird in the Arctic. There is a bird called Great Auk, which is a member of the common murre. This great auk was a flightless bird like a penguin. The murre looks very similar to a penguin. You can see it in the picture below.

Great auks were said to be birds that couldn’t swim like penguins. Great auk was widely distributed in the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean from Canada to Norway, but became extinct in 1850 because it was edible. The scientific name for this species is Pinguinus impennis. In other words, it’s a penguin.

It seems that the current penguins could not advance into the Arctic Circle, but like the North Sea, animals such as murres have evolved to resemble penguins in the Southern Hemisphere.

Undiscovered fossils of penguins ancestors

So far, no fossils of penguin ancestors have been found that could fly. That’s why I still can’t say what the penguins’ ancestors are.

Reasons why penguins can’t fly 1: Topography

Topography is one of the reasons why penguin feathers have degenerated. The Southern Hemisphere has few land, so there are few foreign enemies. With the exception of some seals, there are no carnivores that attack penguins. Therefore, it is said that it may not be possible to fly because it is no longer necessary to fly. By the way, in New Zealand, which is currently the habitat of penguins, little penguins are on the verge of extinction due to the introduction of carnivorous animals by humans.

Reasons why penguins can’t fly 2: Food

Penguins feed on crustaceans such as krill and gammaridea, fish, and marine life such as squids and octopuses. As a result, there is no point in flying. This is also true for the extinct Great Auk, which used to eat fish as its staple food. Therefore, it seems that there is no need to fly.

Penguins diving ability

Penguins have dramatically improved their diving ability at the cost of being unable to fly. Penguins can swim at speeds of around 7 to 8 km / h, which is comparable to the crawl speed of Olympic swimmers. Even more prominent is the ability to dive. There are many penguins that can dive 100m or more, and I have acquired the ability to dive quite deeply.

Introducing Japanese penguins bar

People who have never owned a pet will suddenly hesitate to keep one. Why don’t you actually come in contact with your pet once there? Introducing this time is a penguins bar in Japan. Located in Tokyo, you can take pictures close to you.

store information
Store name: BAR with penguins
Address: 1F, COSMY1 Building, 2-38-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 17: 00-21: 00
Official

If you are interested, please go to Japan. Tickets and accommodations can be booked from the link below. It also supports other languages.

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