Silo “The Torpedo” chinstrap from Central Park Zoo is a penguin with a mission. With his paddle-shaped wings, powerful flight muscles, and streamlined body, he can swim through the water at speeds up to 15 miles per hour—quadruple the speed of the fastest human swimmer—and cover long distances. Moving across land on two feet, penguins appear much less graceful, but when they tire of the waddle, they simply drop onto their bellies, sliding toboggan-style across the ice and snowfields. This allows them to conserve energy on the long march toward their inland breeding grounds, while still moving relatively quickly.
If only the chinstraps could learn to use a sled, they’d make great candidates for skeleton sledding—a face-first plunge down an icy track that requires a combination of aerodynamic agility and sheer gall.
Story and Picture courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society @