July 3, 2012

What Diving Seabirds Can Tell Us About Our Own Longevity

The guillemots – which look similar to penguins but can fly – have the highest flight costs of any bird and expend substantial energy for diving. Their high metabolisms and frequent dives should produce oxidative stress, causing the birds to deteriorate as they age. But, the researchers discovered that the birds stay fit and active as they grow older, maintaining their flying, diving, and foraging abilities.  This clip was filmed at the Brünnich’s guillemots research camp on Coats Island, northern Hudson Bay in July-August 2011, with a few stills from earlier years.  Credit: Tony Gaston

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