Sunday, February 14, 2010

Poetry and Science: Anhinga

Melding the study of poetry with the study of science can enhance both science education and science literacy.

When anhinga dive for food, their wings get wet and they pose in the sun to dry their feathers. Viewing several anhinga drying their wings led to a haiku:

Anhinga Haiku
by J S Shipman

The anhinga are
Hanging their wings out to dry
In the Everglades

Here is a photo of a female anhinga.

The audobon society has posted this information on anhinga wing-drying:

"Anhingas [...] have unusually low metabolic rates and unusually high rates of heat loss from their bodies. Whether wet or dry, they exhibit spread-wing postures mostly under conditions of bright sunlight and cool ambient temperatures, and characteristically orient themselves with their backs to the sun. Thus, it appears that Anhingas adopt a spread-wing posture primarily for thermoregulation -- to absorb solar energy to supplement their low metabolic heat production and to offset partly their inordinately high rate of heat loss due to convection and (when wet) evaporation from their plumage."
Source:; Accessed February 14, 2010.

Here's another photo from today's visit. Perhaps the male, can you tell?:

More anhinga information and photos:

(c)2010 J S Shipman


andrea said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Dr-J said...

Thank you, Andrea. Feedback is welcome. I greatly appreciate comments and questions, especially one like yours which makes the time spent developing the blog all worthwhile (and makes me feel happy, too.) Dr. J