Penguins: Efficient killing machines, projectile poopers


Showing off an amazing display of hunting efficiency, this video is a small sample of the footage gathered by Japanese scientists who attached tiny video cameras to 11 Adelie penguins as the birds swam and hunted in the waters of Lützow-Holm Bay, on the coast of East Antarctica.

It's hard to make out at times, because the birds are moving so quickly, but they are darting into schools of fish and krill, snatching meals with pinpoint accuracy! It certainly makes sense that if you're going to make your home in one of the least hospitable places on the planet, you're going to have to be very good at finding food in that home.

[ Related: 'Critter cam' reveals secrets of penguin hunts ]

And speaking of inhospitable homes, Adelie penguins have an interesting method of keeping their home from becoming even less hospitable than it already is — they projectile poop! Rather than going where they live or leaving the nest to do their business, they simply climb up onto the rim of the nest, point outward and launch their excrement up to 40 cm away! Researchers figured out that the internal pressure they can generate for this is up to six times greater than a human can produce for the same 'job'. How did they figure that out? I'm not sure I want to know, but that's pretty impressive!