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Northern Gannets Plunge-Dive

Xavier Ceccaldi

Just off the North Atlantic coast, hungry Northern Gannets are gathering to feed on fish. From 100 feet in the air, the gannets plummet head-first into the water at 60 miles per hour! Such high-speed collisions would knock most creatures out. But Gannets have evolved air sacs in both the neck and shoulders that cushion the impact, and their skulls are specially reinforced. When they’re on the hunt, gannets draw droves of tourists to places like St. Bonaventure Island in Quebec, where more than 100,000 gannets nest during summer.