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Swimming speed

The speed of swimming of course varies for each species, although the differences aren't that large.
Prof. Wilson from the "Meeresinstitut für Polarforschung" developed a little machine to determine the swimming speed of penguins. For emperors the average speed is 11 km pro hour. Adelies swim about 8,2 km pro hour, or as fast as a fast pedestrian. A little blue penguin has a speed of 6,5 km/hour. Comparing to that, a human only swim 0,72 km pro hour and a seal 7,9 km/hr.
Considering this in relation to the length of the body, an adelie in sprint does 6,5 times his height (65 à 70 m) while a top swimmer can only do once his height pro second.
Of course will this speed increase a lot when they are in danger and trying to escape. The highest speed for an emperor, ever recorded, is 22,5 km pro hour.

Average swimming speed


next chapter: Diving depth
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