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Cormorants, anhingas & soaked feathers
As we all know (I presume), cormorants and anhingas lack water-repellent
plumage. That is, diving means they'll get soaked to the skin and will have
to dry their feathers afterwards.
The latter thing takes time while the succes of the dive isn't even assured.
In my logic, this puts cormorants and anhingas at a considerable
disadvantage compared to their waterproof competitors.
The diving itself doesn't seem like the reason for the strange strategy
employed by these birds. After all, loons,grebes,auks and mergansers all
dive succesfully with their waterrepellent plumage.
So I wonder, what could be the use of getting soaked to the skin and having
to dry up, what makes it such a succesful strategy and why could it have
evolved in the first place (or: why didn't waterproof plumage evolve in
cormorants and anhingas?
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