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emperor penguins, like other birds, have the capacity to fluff their feathers and insulate their bodies with a layer of air. but where most birds have rows of feathers with bare skin between them, emperors have a dense, uniform coat of feathers with tiny filaments at the base which allows them to release this layer of air as lubricating microbubbles. in doing so, the penguins are able to reduce their drag and the viscosity of the water, thus enabling them to swim faster. photos by paul nicklen (previously featured)

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SCIENCE NEWS! There’s life way, way below Antarctica — chilling out in a subglacial lake. Just a few weeks ago, a team of scientists confirmed that half a mile beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, a bunch of tiny, single-celled organisms are alive and well… in a lake boasting sub-zero temperatures and no access to sunlight. 

The discovery is groundbreaking, leading some to wonder if there might also be life on a similar place — Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. 

John Priscu is one of the lead scientists behind the study. In a talk at TEDxBozeman, he explains what it’s like to be a scientist drilling though thousands of feet of ice while living in a tent in Antarctica. 

Watch the whole talk here»

Photos courtesy of NASA

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