Puffins are amazing!! The past two weeks I was in Iceland due to a remarkable discovery by my friend Jakob. He found a whale fossil last summer on a cliff in Tjörnes. I joined him and three other paleontologists to remove his finding from the cliff (details here). The excavation was challenging, allowing us only one tourist day. Our first stop was a puffin colony where we watched Atlantic Puffins fly and land awkwardly. They remind me of flying penguins; and if I had the time, I could probably sit and watch them all day.
Fun Facts about Puffins…
- The puffin’s specialized beak allows them to carry on average 10 fish per trip. The record (recorded in Maine) is 62 fish at once!
- While most dives usually last 20 to 30 seconds, puffins can stay underwater up to a minute. Puffins swim by using their wings to push it along under the water almost as if it were flying while using its feet as a rudder.
- Puffins can fly 48 to 55 mph (77 to 88 km/hr). The puffin beats its wings up to 400 beats a minute.
- Puffins often live 20 years or more. The oldest known puffin lived to be 36 years.
There are three types of puffins– Atlantic Puffins, Tufted Puffins and Horned Puffins. My next goal is to find a Tufted Puffin!
Happy Orange Suggestion: Love a puffin! 🙂