Stone-eating Penguins and Dinosaurs

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By Scott A. Rowan

Stone-eating Penguins and Dinosaurs

The meals of Penguins include one item that few species eat on purpose: stones.

In addition to eating fish, krill, crustaceans, and cephalopods, Penguins eat small rocks that help them better digest their food, researchers theorize. The process is nothing new. After all, dinosaurs appear to have done the same thing.

These small stones that are purposeful eaten are called “gastroliths” and have been found in dinosaur fossils.

Researchers also theorize the gastroliths help the birds dive deeper for foods by providing extra weight.

SOURCES:

Brennan, Patricia. Penguins and Other Flightless Birds. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc, 2002.

Daigle, Evelyne. The World of Penguins. New York, NY: Tundra Books, 2007.

Simon, Seymour. Penguins. New York, NY: Collins, 2007.

SLJ Staff. “And Tango Makes Three’ Tops Most Challenged List, Again.” School Library Journal. April 12, 2011. Accessed: January 30, 2013.

Stamps Showing Emperor Penguin Aptenodyte forsteri.” Theme Birds. Accessed: January 30, 2013.

Stefoff, Rebecca. Penguins. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2005.

Walsh, Michael. “Scientists Solve the Mystery of Penguins’ Incredibly Fast Underwater Swimming Speed: A Secret Layer of Bubbles.” Daily News. October 20, 2012. Accessed: January 19, 2013.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/e/emperor-penguin/

https://www.factretriever.com/penguin-facts

http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/wildlife/animals/penguins

http://ocean.si.edu/penguins

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#penguins #birds #canpenguinsfly #CGW #coolgrossweird #besurprised #flocked

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