choco_lover asked in PetsBirds · 1 decade ago

why don't penguins feet freeze?


6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    The system that stops a penguin's foot from freezing is very elaborate and sophisticated and employs two mechanisms.

    The first one allows the penguin to control the rate of blood flowing to its feet by varying the diameter of arterial vessels supplying the blood. In cold conditions the flow is reduced, when it is warm the flow increases.

    The second mechanism takes the form of 'counter current heat exchangers' at the top of the legs. The arteries, which supply warm blood and oxygen to the penguin's feet break up into many small vessels which are closely linked to similar numbers of venous vessels bringing cold blood back from the feet. So, when heat is lost from the arterial vessels, the venous vessels running in the opposite direction pick it up and carry it back through the body, rather than out through the feet. This means that in the very remote regions of the skin, cells get oxygen but heat isn't lost through this skin.

  • 1 decade ago


    No joke.. I went to and plugged the question in.. and (of course) there is a website with that answer! LOL!

    Here ya go...

    Q1: Why don't penguins' feet freeze in the winter?

    A: Penguins reduce blood flow to their feet by varying the diameter of arterial vessels. This keeps their feet a degree or two above freezing, minimising heat loss, while escaping frostbite.


  • 1 decade ago

    and dont forget theres a book called 'why dont penguin's feet freeze?' itl say in there somewhere, ive got it - i just cant be bothered to find it under my heap of junk

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    because they have little water to freeze. Soft tissues is rich in water and will freeze

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  • 1 decade ago

    because penguins are ace and have a skin that is almost wet suit/rubbery like it keeps them insulated

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Am with Josie on this one :)

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