Researchers' puzzle: How do grebes walk on water?
Friday, May 11, 2012
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) -- A Harvard graduate student has brought a team of researchers to Upper Klamath Lake in Southern Oregon trying to figure out how grebes manage to walk on water.
Sex may have something to do with the phenomenon called rushing, in which the birds race upright across the water by taking 5 to 20 steps a second. It's often part of a courtship ritual.
But researcher Glenna Clifton tells the Klamath Falls Herald and News (http://bit.ly/vFI1Bt) that little is known about how the bird is able to generate the force to propel itself.
The researchers are shooting high-resolution pictures of Clark's and Western grebes at 325 frames a second this spring trying to figure out the activity. Their research is expected to wind up May 21.
Information from: Herald and News, http://www.heraldandnews.com