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    World's longest penguin dive, of more than half an hour, is recorded.

    Record-breaking dive in Antarctic waters emerges after scientists accidentally tagged wrong emperor penguins.

    Emperor penguins’ physiology suggests they shouldn’t be able to dive comfortably for longer than eight minutes. Photograph: Paul Nicklen/Getty Images/National Geographic Creative.

    Scientists in Antarctica have recorded the world’s longest penguin dive, an astounding 32.2 minutes under the water; a full five minutes longer than the previous record.

    Emperor penguins, which live only in Antartica, are the tallest and heaviest penguins in the world, and have the best diving ability. They can dive as much as 500 metres down in some of the world’s harshest and coldest seas.

    The record dive emerged after 20 emperor penguins were tagged with satellite transmitters in 2013, to better understand their foraging and diving patterns. The research was conducted by Marine ecologist Dr Kim Goetz from the New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research, Dr Gerald Kooyman from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Dr Brigitte McDonald from Moss Landing Marine Labratories. Their findings have been published in the Journal of Marine Ecology Progress Series.

    Although Goetz and her team were aiming to study the behaviors of breeding penguins, they tagged the wrong birds, tracking 20 non-breeding birds that spent most of the next year hunting in the remote eastern Ross sea; usually a challenging environment for scientists to study animal behavior, due to its distance from human bases.

    Goetz and her team discovered that emperor penguins travel and dive further than anyone thought possible; travelling distances between 273km and nearly 9,000km in the study period, and conducting dives that lasted between one and 32.2 minutes.

    Before the team’s findings the longest recorded emperor penguin dive was 27.6 minutes, which is “impressive” and mysterious, said Goetz, given emperor penguins’ physiology suggest they should be capable of comfortably diving for periods up to eight minutes; after which they run out of oxygen and their anaerobic system kicks in, placing a significant strain on the body and requiring a longer recovery time.

    “What we don’t know at this point is if it’s becoming harder [for them] to find food and they have to dive deeper, or for some reason they are veering off course and they can’t find an ice hole, and if they can’t find an ice hole, they can’t come up to breathe,” said Goetz.

    “But if an animal is going deeper and expending itself and using all its oxygen to get down there, it is usually because it is worth it.”

    Most of the fitted trackers stayed in place for more than six months, and more than 96,000 dives were recorded between March and the end of 2013.

    Penguins dove longer and deeper during the day and twilight than at night, and their dive rate was significantly higher during the day (5.5 dives per hour) and twilight (5.6 dives per hour) than at night (0.4 dives per hour).

    Goetz said the next phase would require placing cameras on the birds to record exactly what they were doing under the ice – and what they were hunting for that was worth the effort.

    "This study showed that animals go far further than we thought – this has a number of different implications for their survival ... understanding their entire life cycle, especially when birds are not restrained by chick-rearing duties, is critical to predicting how emperor penguins might respond to environmental changes.”.. @EleanorAingeRoy



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    The most powerful passports in the world.


    With Germany recently being ranked as having the world’s most powerful passport, the opportunities citizens of powerful passport countries have is continuing to grow. It’s not necessarily the colour of the passport that helps to make a passport powerful, but the legal ties of the country from where the passport is obtained from can dictate the visa-free movement of its citizens. A passport can represent more than just a travel document, and for some countries can actually act as a barrier when it comes to global mobility. Here at Santa Fe Relocation, we’re taking a closer look at the world’s most powerful passports in 2018.


    According to the 2018 Henley Passport Index, Germany now has the world’s most powerful passport. German citizens can now visit 177 countries visa-free, which is one up from last year, and one more than Singaporeans. Germany has improved its positions dramatically, overtaking the United Kingdom which topped the index in 2015, after several countries relaxed its visa restrictions.


    Alongside the German passport, a Singaporean passport allows its citizens to travel to a total of 159 countries, visa-free. With Paraguay removing restrictions in 2017, Singapore actually topped the index last year, marking the first time an Asian country has the most powerful passport according to the Index. Described as “a testament of Singapore’s inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy,” by managing director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office, Philippe May, this passport is far more than simply a travel document issued by the country’s government, but in fact represents diplomacy to a new degree.

    Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom.

    The next most powerful tiers of passports are those belonging to Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Whilst British citizens getting German passports has surged as a result of Brexit, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden passports have remained in the third powerful tiers of passports based on the number of countries their holders can visit visa-free.

    Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland.

    Following Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom is Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. In addition to this, Belgium joined the new electronic passport project in 2014, making it one of the few countries to power the electronic pass programs across the globe.

    Ireland, South Korea, Portugal, the United States.

    Ireland, South Korea, Portugal and the United States are also among the most powerful passports in the world, ranking fifth. Even though the United States has recently undergone an extensive policy debate over passports and visa requirements, the country still received a visa-free score of 154, enabling the country to be considered as one of the top powerful tiers of passports based on the number of countries their holders can visit visa-free. However, since the election of Donald Trump, some countries such as Turkey and the Central African Republic, have revoked the country’s visa-free access showing how much influence politics can have over global mobility.

    If you are considering relocating abroad, and you would like to discuss how we can help you, do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our expert team, today.



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