Monday, December 01, 2008

Flash Facts: Gray's Paradox

In what could be considered a follow-up to our recent underwater Flash Fact concerning the shortfin mako shark, as well as a scientific extension of this blog's recent crossover with the Aquaman Shrine, the BBC reports that new research has revealed how dolphins are able to achieve incredible speeds in the water. "Gray's Paradox--named after British zoologist Sir James Gray--proposed that dolphins simply do not have the strength to swim so fast. But researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US have now studied the movement of water around dolphins as they swim. The results show that dolphins can exert as much as 400lb of force with their tails." Now you know those sharp-looking fins on the back of Aquaman's legs aren't simply a fashion statement! Visit the BBC to watch a color-coded video tracking the bubbles that surround a speeding dolphin.

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