Animals can do some pretty weird things when they try to attract a mate. Two species of birds, the Western American grebe and Clark’s grebe, actually run on the surface of the water.
The world is actually full of amazing creatures that seem to have superpowers. For example, we once talked about fish that learned to fly. What about animals that can walk on water?
If we discard all religious exploits, then practically not a single living creature can walk on water. Perhaps only insects and midges have this ability, but they move along the water surface due to the very light weight of their own bodies. So it’s amazing that there are creatures on the planet that can weigh about two kilograms and walk on water. Just walk, not swim! Two types of birds have this ability: Clark’s grebe and the Western American grebe.
For a long time, scientists could not understand how these creatures manage to move on the surface. Of course, this run takes about 7 seconds in time, but during this period, grebes are able to walk about twenty meters. They just walk on the water, moving along it with their paws.
True, this ability can only be observed during a certain period: grebes walk like this only during mating flirtations. That is why this “walk” cannot be repeated in the laboratory, so scientists could not understand for a long time how such heavy birds manage this trick.
Good equipment helped: the runs were filmed on a high resolution camera in 2015, and everything fell into place. The fact is that grebes have rather wide legs, resembling flippers, like many other waterfowl. They move them very quickly, they are able to take 20 steps in a second. In addition, these birds raise their legs to the sides, which allows them to better stay on the surface. As a result, the speed and unusual way of walking allows grebes to arrange small 7-second runs. It looks very spectacular.
Of course, 7 seconds may not seem like a very long walk, but for such a large bird, it is quite impressive. Many scientists even call this ability magic.
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