Still puffin’


Oldest recorded Atlantic puffin is 34. Damned if I know how long that is in human-years. Probably 300. More here.


10 thoughts on “Still puffin’

  1. As someone who once studied aerodynamics I find this photo fascinating.
    It appears to me that the puffin is using it’s wings as speed brakes and it’s feet as stabilizers. Something that would take us humans hours to calculate (it used to take weeks!) and much technology to implement, the bird just does. The natural world has many amazing things to examine.

  2. Just goes to show that you needn’t be sleek to be airworthy.

    A-10 Warthog. Wright Flyer. Curtis Jenny.

    Live ling and prosper, funny looking little bird.

  3. JML : Haha!
    Obviously the bird didn’t know the differential equations required to describe how the air flows over it’s wings, ergo it must be design!
    Oh wait… the bird doesn’t need to know how we humans model things, it just uses what works. After a few hundreds of millions of years and countless generations the bird got it’s wings to help it slow down, and those birds lived longer and reproduced more than the birds who didn’t have speed brakes.

    Loved the Huge Manatee,btw.

  4. Oldest recorded Atlantic puffin is 34. Damned if I know how long that is in human-years. Probably 300. More here.

    From the article:

    Experts involved in the British Trust for Ornithology’s bird ringing scheme said it was possible even older puffins could be discovered in the next few years.
    David Steventon, founder of the Shiants Auks ringing group and a member of ringing expeditions to the island in the 1970s, said: “These longevity records were almost inevitable, as ringing data shows that adult survival rates are about 92%.”
    “Therefore we would expect that about 25 of the 441 birds ringed in 1975 will still be alive and could be recaught in 2009.”

    Out of over 6 billion humans, one has made it to the age of about 120. 300 years is 2.5 times that. When you compare the 34-year age record for puffins to a 300-year-old human, you imply that billions of puffins have been observed, but until now, none older than 13.6 years has been found. You imply that a 34-year-old puffin is a stunning surprise formerly believed to be impossible. What the article describes is exactly the opposite – the researchers had previously found multiple puffins close in age to this 34-year-old, and clearly expect to find more, some possible exceeding the mark. Furthermore – they haven’t observed anything like billions of puffins.

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