Survival tactics from polar creatures

Emperor Penguins

Emperor penguins can dive 500 m deep without having a problem in their breathing and blood pressures for 20 minutes. In addition, they can adapt to these conditions in a number of ways. They can decrease their heart rate from 200 to 60 pulses per minute and so stock some extra myoglobin.

How can penguins stay breathless for long periods of time?

Myoglobin is a protein that exists in the muscles of this creature at high levels. These myoglobin proteins tie up high levels of oxygen molecules to themselves and hide them. So the oxygen required by the living being is hidden not in the air in lungs but directly in muscles.  By this means, penguins can swim for a long time without breathing and can dive as deep as they want.

Who do they not experience nitrogen narcosis?

Penguins can continue swimming even if the oxygen in their blood is at the lowest level. Human beings suffer from depth intoxication in that case. This level is 20 mm Hg for penguins and 25 mm Hg for human beings. However, scientists have not been able to explain how penguins can jump on ice when in water, without being affected by blood pressure.

How can they go without food for 65 days?

There is a secret behind male penguins standing up for 65 days in order to protect t their eggs without eating anything. They have a special structure, which blocks their digestive systems, until the female penguin comes to look after the babies.

Perfect diving suits

In summer, they do not eat anything on ice for 1 month until they molt their fur. All old feathers fall off and new ones come out. In this way, a water resistant diving suit, which is airproof, keeps warm and prevents cold water reaching the skin, is formed. The most interesting point about their fur is that this fur grows when it is time for travel, just when they most need it.

Short stories from the poles…

In the North Pole, day light is only for 3 hours in the middle of winter. Penguins cuddle to one another in the remaining 21 hours in order to protect themselves from the cold.

Male penguins can increase their body temperature to 20° C by further coming closer to one another.

Single male penguins can live at temperatures of -10° C as they are not able to use other penguins’ body heat.

How can penguins walk for kilometers with their large bodies and small legs in polar conditions?

Penguins walk like a pendulum swinging themselves to the right and left. They take their steps to their sides in order to save energy and enable muscles to get less tired. So they save energy at the end of each step to use in the next one. If they walked in a normal way, they would have to use twice as more energy than an animal of their size due to the fact that their legs are short.  However, penguins consume energy only when they begin and stop walking.

These characteristics of penguins are one of the biggest evidences of the compassion and mercy of Allah over living beings. To walk in a way that saves energy by making kinetic and potential energy transformation, is not a method that can be adopted by any penguin. Unless Allah inspires so, no penguin can know about this transformation of potential and kinetic energy and form a walking style that can achieve that. The control of Allah over living beings is revealed in one verse of the Qur’an:

“… There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock…” (Surah Hud, 56)

How do seals find prey in deep waters?

A seal finds its prey by following its tracks in water but without using its eyes. These tracks are hydrodynamic waves formed by the movement of the prey in water and cannot be seen with the naked eye. The seal reaches its prey by following only these tracks. With this ability it is not difficult for the seal to hunt in dark or muddy waters.

Unknown feeding methods of whales

Though often considered contrarily, the cold waters of the North Pole are rich in terms of food. Whales migrate from warm waters to especially here. When they are at the poles they stock food by feeding on small fish called “krill” that look like shrimp.

Whales move together when they come across a school of fish or krill. When the fish begin to run from the surface to the deep in case of danger, whales dive even deeper all together. Right after then, they begin to let loose air bubbles to form a circle cage underneath the school of fish. So there is a circle wall made up of air bubbles that prevent the school of fish from getting away. Now the whales that begin to rise to the surface from the middle of the circle just open their mouths. The whales hunt prey easily by this plan and by moving together. There is only one explanation for this fascinating behavior of whales and that is these livings act with the inspiration of Almighty Allah Who created them.

2010-08-05 10:29:44

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