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Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti, Franz Meyen 1834) is mainly spread along the coast of Peru and Chile in the Pacific Ocean.
Their ability to fly, like that of all other species of existing penguins dates back to millions of years ago, and has been lost over the years, according to a process of evolution and adaptive. Through the recent article “High flight costs, but low dive costs, in auks support the biomechanical hypothesis for flightlessness in penguins” published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), researchers have explained why the incapacity of flight of the Penguins.
Comparing the energy costs of the flight of two different species of sea birds that are still able to fly in the air, scientists have found that they are much higher than those of a vertebrate, that is to say that their wings, also designed for diving, imply heavy energy consumption in elevation out of the water. That is why, in the course of their natural evolution, penguins have improved their body depending on the surroundings, but especially of the activities related to it, thus developing more skills in swimming at the expense of the ability to fly. Indeed, although the risk of being hunted by predators is greater at sea, the amount of food available under the water is high and it is therefore necessary that the wings are the best possible fit to this need. Thanks to its specialization in swimming, penguin is able to go in depth very easily, reaching high speeds.