Penguins: Now with more color


5 Responses to “Penguins: Now with more color”

  1. Christopher says:

    Very, very, very tangentially related: this morning I happened to read a decades-old Steve Allen joke that NBC was going to save money by becoming a black and white network, and changing their slogan to “Proud As A Penguin”.

    I can only imagine the jokes Mr. Allen would come up with if he knew that penguins are pretty colorful when viewed in a different light.

  2. chgoliz says:

    This made me think of how well snow works as an insulator.  Seems counter-intuitive,  but you can actually keep your home warmer by packing snow around the outside walls during winter.  (Think of igloos, for example.)

  3. How does one beat the cold?

    By being colder than cold.
    Crazy cool.

  4. Brainspore says:

    DAMN YOU, TED TURNER. I thought this “colorization” fad died out in the 80s.

  5. chdunk says:

    This is a good example of how sensible heat flows in the opposite direction to what we are used to during the polar night:  the air actually loses heat to the ground (and penguin feathers — notice from the picture in the article that they are about the same temperature as the ice on which they are standing), which then gets lost to space via blackbody radiation.  This down-and-out energy flow then cools the air at the surface and creates the really strong atmospheric inversions that happen over the wintertime arctic.  This is opposite to temperate/tropical daytime conditions, where the ground (and ostriches, etc.) absorb sunlight and contribute sensible heat to the air, generating convection.

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