Penguin Wetsuit coming along fine



I still can’t believe my eyes after reading this news article over and over again, which is why I want to share this tech-related story with you guys. It is more of a science than anything else, featuring a penguin in a wetsuit. First of all, why would a penguin be wearing a wetsuit in the first place? Apparently, this is no laughing matter as biologists at the California Academy of Sciences had developed a wetsuit created for an African penguin in order to assist him get back in the swim of things. The penguin’s name is Pierre, ageing along pretty well at 25 years of age and is losing plenty of hair, rendering him the social embarrassment of an exposed, pale pink derierre.

While marine mammals boast a layer of blubber to help them keep warm, penguins lack this vital biological “ingredient” so to speak, relying instead on their waterproof feathers to keep them warm and toasty under blizzard conditions. Needless to say, without these feathers Pierre wouldn’t jump into the academy’s penguin tank as he surely doesn’t want to end up shivering on the sidelines while his peers have a field time moving about in the water. Staff at Oceanic Worldwide, a supplier of dive gear based in San Leandro, were approached to develop an actual penguin suit for Pierre, and managed to come up with a successful working model. Pierre’s wetsuit uses Velcro to fasten itself, covering Pierre’s torso while providing ample openings for his flippers. Pierre has managed to gain weight, grow feathers on his hind parts and regained his swagger and confidence after six weeks of wearing the wetsuit.

I guess Pierre will be weaned off the wetsuit very soon, as he learns to integrate himself with the rest of his community. This is truly a case where necessity is the mother of all invention.

Source: USA Today

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Gallery of posts up to 04-29-2008 » Coolest Gadgets Says: April 29, 2008 at 4:39 am

[…] Penguin Wetsuit coming along fine […]

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