Fur and feathers of seals and penguins help them get a grip to climb ice floes and snow thanks to their stiffness.


"For the seals of the icy seas and the penguins of the antarctic shore this gliding and braking mechanism is vital. When they leave the water to climb an ice floe, they get a grip with their stiff fur or feathers. They can scale 60° inclines in this manner. When they rush back into the water, they simply slide down on their stomachs. Numerous other animals that live in the snow have bristles on their running or creeping surfaces, for the same mechanical reasons." (Tributsch 1984:73)

How Life Learned to Live: Adaptation in NatureThe MIT PressJanuary 1, 1983
Helmut Tributsch

Living System/s