Why waddle?
With all my recent coverage of penguins you would think I've forgotten about my beloved turtles. Hah! But penguins are pretty cool though. While watching Animal Planet recently, they showed a clip of the animation I listed two posts below (minus the penguin that seemingly slaps him in the back)!

Anyway, I found the following information to be somewhat interesting. The penguin's gait, the waddle, conserves energy because it acts like a pendulum. Now you'll know what I'm up to next time you see me waddling around.
"The physical principle underlying the penguin's ability to conserve mechanical energy is analogous to a swinging pendulum," Griffin said. "Given an initial push or drop, a pendulum swings continuously because gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy are exchanged back and forth."

"Now imagine a pendulum that is turned upside down and has a stiff rod instead of a string," Griffin added. "The side-to-side waddling movement in penguins conserves energy much like an upside-down pendulum with each leg acting like a stiff rod. Visually, this looks like a bowling pin that teeters side-to-side after an initial nudge."
At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

darren! good seeing u for all of five seconds.

take care of the bro for me, will ya? and keep it PG. ;)

At 11:29 PM, Blogger [illegal] architect said...

does this really apply to humans? i think as far as evolution goes, our bodies are used to moving in the most efficient way possible for our body structure. walking. you can go and waddle all you want though, but one day i'll tip you over into a pile of trash.


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