« Previous | Main | Next »

August 26, 2010


Chinstrap and Adélie penguins generate considerable pressures to propel their faeces away from the edge of the nest. The pressures involved can be approximated if the following parameters are known: (1) distance the faecal material travels before it hits the ground, (2) density and viscosity of the material, and (3) shape, aperture, and height above the ground of the orificium venti. With all of these parameters measured, we calculated that fully grown penguins generate pressures of around 10 kPa (77 mm Hg) to expel watery material and 60 kPa (450 mm Hg) to expel material of higher viscosity similar to that of olive oil.

Related scientific item here.

(Thanks to RussellMc)


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Well aren't we all a bit projectile shit fascinated these days?

This penguin-pooh paper was awarded an Ig Nobel in 2005. I'm pretty sure that somebody ought to be fired.

Do all penguins do this?

When Adelies poop, they stand on the edge of their nests, their rear ends facing outward, and expel the fecal matter as far as possible.

Sounds like they've raised the bar on the phrase, "I fart in your general direction."

*makes note to stay away from penguins*

Penguin Poo Flingers WBAG....

Speaking of 'flinging poo to startling lengths', I'm really looking forward to the Blago re-trial.

I can see it now, somewhere in Germany, a proud mother is telling her bridge group, "Oh, my son is studying polar biology, specifically the velocity of avian defecation." And the other moms laugh her out of the room....

"Whether a bird chooses the direction into which it decides to expel its faeces....remains uncertain" With all of those penguins nesting together, I'd be more concerned about their directional control. One mishap and it could start something that would make the food fight from Animal House seem like a tea party.

This explains how Fox News covers the entire country.

Why? That's it, just why?

Caterpillers of course flung their frass,
so's not to become wasp food en masse.
Seems the wasps would hone in,
where their dinner had been,
And lay their eggs right up their ass!

Why didn't the articles include the photographic evidence? There's more here.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About The Miami Herald | Advertise