Penguins lost ability to taste fish 企鹅失去对鱼的味觉

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Image copyright BBC World Service
Image caption Penguins have lost the ability to taste fish

企鹅只能品尝到食物的酸味和咸味。一项基因研究显示,不会飞的鸟类进化过程中早就失去了大部分的味觉。以下是BBC 记者Helen Briggs 发回的报道:

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With their waddling gait and lack of flight, penguins have long been an oddity in the bird kingdom. Now zoologists have discovered they're unusual too in their sense of taste.

Most birds can't detect sweet things. But penguins have also lost the taste for bitter and umami, or meaty flavours. Scientists think fish would taste of little but salt to a penguin. And because they swallow fish whole they may not be able to discern flavours at all.

They say the puzzle could be explained by the penguins' evolution in the extreme cold of Antarctica