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Penguins May Look Cute But...


Nature can be beautiful -- but also a little gross.

Case in point: chinstrap and Adélie penguins, who protect their young against predators by launching a “projectile of poop,” according to Ars Technica.

Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of the Research Institute of Luminous Organisms in Japan described the process, explaining “the penguin stand up, move stands up, moves to the edge of its nest, turns around, lifts its tail, and then shoots from its rear.”

How far does the feces fly? About 1.34 meters — or 4.39 feet — according to Hiroyuki Tajima of Kochi University and Fumiya Fujisawa of the Katsurahama Aquarium in Kochi, Japan.

So why this interest in how far a penguin can shoot its poop?

"These bombings sometimes embarrass keepers under breeding environments like an aquarium," Tajima and Fujisawa wrote. "It is practically important to know how far their faeceses [sic] reach from the origin. Such information would save keepers from the crisis. It would also be helpful for a newcomer guidance for keepers to avoid such an incident."

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