Penguins lost ability to taste fish 企鵝失去對魚的味覺

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

企鵝只能品嚐到食物的酸味和鹹味。一項基因研究顯示,不會飛的鳥類進化過程中早就失去了大部分的味覺。以下是BBC 記者Helen Briggs 發回的報道:

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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