As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 23 March 2020

In a First, Researchers Record Penguins Vocalizing Under Water

But the scientists still aren’t sure what the birds are saying

But the scientists still aren’t sure what the birds are saying


We humans aren’t very good at communicating underwater, but down in the deep blue sea, plenty of other animals are capable of quite the marine ruckus—including, it seems, penguins.

For the first time, researchers have recorded the waddly, flightless birds making sounds during their deep sea dives, reports Nicky Willemse for New Scientist. The findings, described in a recent study published in the journal PeerJ, could clue scientists in to the communicative cues penguins rely on to hunt.

Simply knowing that penguins engage in underwater banter “opens the door for a lot more research,” Hannah Kriesell, a biologist from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology who was not involved in the study, tells Alejandra Manjarrez for Hakai magazine.

Those who have heard a penguin squawk on land might not find these results very surprising. Ashore, these birds often congregate in colonies, making calls and chirps important tools for passing information back and forth to mates, chicks and competitors. Some species will also produce an array of noises when bobbing on the sea surface. So it makes good sense that they’d continue their chatter underwater as well; but a lack of luck with timing and the right equipment has long stymied scientists’ efforts to catalogue the birds’ conversations.

No comments:

Post a Comment