What is the water penguins quench your thirst?

The ability of penguins to develop endogenous water, drink salt water along with fresh – only a small part of the unique features possessed by these amazing birds.

Якою водою пінгвіни втамовують спрагу?

The penguin’s life is inextricably linked to the water where they spend 75% of life. But, like any living creature, these birds are in need of drinking water, informs Rus.Media.

Difficult living conditions dictate the rules of the drinking mode, and the penguins are perfectly adapted to them.

Fresh or salt?

It is quite natural that animals, birds and human life essential fresh drinking water. Galapagos penguins have favorable conditions for life: birds live on the Galapagos Islands, just a few dozen kilometers from the equator. The average annual temperature here is in the range of 23-24°C, frequent rains, which are the main source of fresh water for animals and birds, including penguin. In the absence of fresh water Galapagos penguins drink sea water (separately or capturing it together with fish and crustaceans during the hunt).

Antarctic penguins are in a quandary: they live among the ice and cold, where there is no freshwater sources. To maintain the normal life of the birds have to drink the salty seawater. The only way to get fresh water for the penguins of Antarctica – to take a beak in the snow. But this bird is rarely, as for melting the snow and turning it into water you have to waste a lot of energy.

To quench his thirst with snow males, when they remain with the egg or chick that just hatched. A female penguin after laying eggs for two months floating in the sea, and Papa penguin all this time can not move away even for a minute. In addition to water shortage, in this period, the male feels hungry, so before the return of the females he loses 40 % of its weight.

How penguins cope with high salt content in the water?

For a long time people could not understand how penguins can drink salt water and feel good about themselves, because the salt content in sea water can reach to 3.5%. If a man will drink this water, there will be a disorder of the kidneys, the gastrointestinal tract. Due to the large amount of salts (chlorides and sulphates) impaired absorption of water in cells, develops dehydration, edema. Long-term use of sea water is dangerous for life.

Scientists have discovered the mechanism by which penguins are protected from the negative effects of high salt concentrations. In their body has a special body salt, or the supraorbital gland. This is a modified nasal gland, which is located in the region of the frontal bone in birds who are forced to drink sea water (gulls, pelicans, black guillemots, cormorants, petrels). In birds that do not face the consumption of salt water, this iron is poorly developed and not functional.

Work salt glands in penguins lies in the fact that in its tissues is in the process of filtration of the salts, resulting in salt secret. This fluid, which is a 5% solution of salt – it is excreted from the body through the nostrils, flowing down the beak. In this way the penguins get rid of excess sodium chloride and other salts and get fresh water.

How penguins drink when hatching?

Over the summer the penguin is gaining fat mass, fat percentage can reach 30-32% of the total body mass. Subcutaneous fat protects the bird from hypothermia and death, is also a source of energy at a time when a penguin has no opportunity to hunt. The fat burning process is accompanied by formation of carbon dioxide and water, it is called metabolic or endogenous. This water helps to do a penguin for a long time without drinking in difficult conditions, 100% satisfying the body’s need for fluid.

The ability of penguins to develop endogenous water, drink salt water along with fresh – only a small part of the unique features possessed by these amazing birds.

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