Fabulous flippers: Dolphins have quite the kick

TROY, N.Y. (AP) - Dolphins have a kick that would make Olympic medalist Michael Phelps jealous.

How dolphins are able to swim so fast first drew the attention of - and confounded - researchers in 1936.

Now a team of scientists has used sophisticated underwater digital video and millions of tiny bubbles to measure the power of a dolphin's tail.

They calculate that dophins can produce as much as 212 pounds of thrust with their tail muscles. That's more than triple what a top Olympian like Phelps can generate.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute engineering professor Tim Wei presents the findings today in San Antonio at an American Physical Society conference.


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