An Amazing Fact: Penguins have an almost perfectly streamlined body profile that’s ideal for chasing fish. In fact, the penguin has the most hydrodynamic body shape ever gauged. A swimming chinstrap penguin seven inches wide slices through the water with less resistance than a quarter-sized pebble. These sleek bodies also help penguins snag prey and escape predators like leopard seals and killer whales. Not only are penguins able to swim faster than a man can run, their efficient shape enables them to travel long distances. Emperor penguins, for instance, have been known to cover almost 1,000 miles on foraging trips that last up to a month, swimming more than 40 miles per day. Not bad for a bird!
Penguins also have other features that make them highly capable fishers. Their tongues are armed with sharp, backward-facing barbs that help prevent prey from escaping. Penguins are also world-class divers. In the 1970s, dive recording devices attached to emperor penguins revealed the penguins were shown to be diving to depths of at least 1,755 feet in search of food. That’s astonishing when you consider that is much deeper than a nuclear submarine likes to cruise. It’s a mystery how these birds survive at such depths. At 1,200 feet, for instance, the birds are being compressed by 40 times the pressure they feel at the surface.
Penguin’s eyes are another marvel. Their pupils can adjust much more than a cat, dilating from a pinhole to the size of a quarter. This enables sharp vision in both the pitch-black depths and at the blinding bright Antarctic surface. This is also an amazing accomplishment, since air and water demand very different kinds of sight. But penguins apparently make the switch smoothly by using fine eye muscles to bend and warp the lens in their eyes to correct for differences between air and water vision. Penguins can even see into the ultraviolet range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The Bible teaches that a Christian must be able to maintain spiritual vision with their eyes on heaven while still living in the dark world below. Moses warned the Israelites, “Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren” (Deuteronomy 4:9). We will keep our vision clear in the world when we keep our eyes on Christ and the ways He has led us.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Psalms 25:15