penguins have a muted, undiscerning palate -

February 16, 2015 8:03 PM

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As far as omega threes are concerned, penguins and their diet rich in fatty fish are ahead of the curve. But as far as the taste and flavor profiles of the food items penguins shovel down their pipes, the flightless aquatic birds are mostly in the dark. As researchers at the University of Michigan recently confirmed, penguins lack three of the five main taste buds and are unable to detect sweet, bitter and the elusive meat-like taste called umami.

"Penguins eat fish, so you would guess that they need the umami receptor genes, but for some reason they don't have them," Jianzhi 'George' Zhang, a professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at Michigan, explained in a press release. "These findings are surprising and puzzling, and we do not hav...

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