Oh look, a bird


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Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) dive for fish in Shetland.

Northern Gannets dive vertically into water at speeds of up to 100 km/hr, so their morphology is adapted to suit this. They have no external nostrils, and their secondary nostrils (which open into the roof of their mouth) can be closed while under water. The same can be done for their auditory canals, which are very small and covered with feathers. Their sternum is long and very strong, and Gannets also possess highly developed lungs and air sacs just under the skin along their chest and sides, which probably help buffer against the force of impact upon hitting the water.

Photo Credits: Richard Shucksmith | The Guardian

Filed under birds gannets have such cool eyes