The myth of the peacock is a beautiful one. The colorful feathers, the iridescent eyes, the beautiful and majestic dance. The myth of the peacock has been carried on for centuries by many cultures in various forms. It has been said to represent beauty, power, and immortality.
Now, it seems that this myth may have been partially true after all. With recent studies suggesting that these brightly-colored birds in fact swim with ease despite their large size and weight, scientists are now working on ways to make swimming easier for other animals as well.
Here’s a look at some of the reasons why the peacock might be able to swim so easily despite its size.
The Myth Of The Peacock
The peacock is a large and heavy bird, so it would seem that it would be difficult for the peacock to even get its feathers wet. This myth is partially true. The peacock can actually swim quite easily despite its size by using a technique called ‘Treading Water’.
In order to swim, the bird gets into an upside-down position in the water with its legs tucked under its body and tail out of the water to create an air pocket around itself. In this position, the bird can effectively prevent itself from sinking and use gravity to propel itself forward.
This technique works for both land and aquatic birds, but some species have adapted to their specific environment. For example, penguins are able to walk on water as well as fly through the air due to adaptations in their feet which make them more suited for these activities than other birds.
What Makes Them So Buoyant?
It has been found that the peacock’s plumage is made up of water-repellent fibers, meaning that it repels water and keeps them afloat. This makes sense when you consider that the feathers are mostly hollow to allow for maximum aeration and insulation. With a lot of air flowing in and out of their feathers, it’s easy to imagine how they can stay afloat despite their size.
The other thing that helps them float is the air sacs located within the feather shafts. These air sacs help them maintain buoyancy as well as regulate their breathing. The air sacs also play an important role in keeping these birds warm in colder climates, which is something else that contributes to making them buoyant despite not being able to swim.
The other thing about peacocks is the shape and structure of their bodies. Their bodies have a high surface area-to-volume ratio, which means they have a large surface area relative to their volume because they don’t have much fat on their body. This means that more air can be stored inside their body for buoyancy rather than outside of it as would happen with other animals which do not have such a high surface area-to-volume ratio.
The last main factor contributing to the peacock’s ability to swim easily is its anatomy and limb structure – specifically, its long tail feathers are used like rudders while they flap these feathers while swimming so they move both horizontally and vertically.
How Does The Water Affect Their Feathers?
The peacock feathers are composed of keratin, which is a protein found in human hair and fingernails. This protein is one of the strongest, most durable substances known to man. The water that the peacock’s feathers go through when they swim will cause them to slightly change shape. This allows for a better surface area for the bird to float on and makes it easier for the bird to move through the water.
Another reason why the peacock can swim so well is because of its large body size relative to its legs. The larger a person or animal’s body mass, the fewer its limbs have to be in order to paddle through the water. So, as long as there are enough large wings on the peahen or peacock, they should be able to maneuver themselves easily with their feet while swimming.
Why Is It Difficult For Other Birds To Swim?
One of the reasons why it is difficult for birds to swim is that most of them are not equipped with the proper buoyancy and swimming muscles. Another reason is that their feathers can’t keep up with their swimming speed, causing them to struggle to stay afloat.
Peacocks have a unique way of making it through the water, but they are far from the only bird that enjoys swimming. They are made buoyant by their feathers, which are actually useless in the water.