Since ALL animal and vegetable fats are esters, and since ALL aquatic fowl secrete an oily substance (technically a liquid wax-ester) at the base of their feathers to aid flotation (prevents their plumage from becoming water-logged), there might be a grain of truth to the story. Penguin oil might be a starting point to synthesize a robust motor oil additive. It's hard to imagine, though, that the volume that can be harvested could in any way be sufficient to meet current and projected needs. It's also possible that the birds' skin and flesh fat content might be the basis for further synthesis. Cold weather warm-blooded animals as a rule have high body fat content. The comments about sperm whale oil use in ATF is true, and the amount per quart was miniscule - about a thimble full/qt was all that was necessary. The Lubegard website quotes a statistic in the company's history that a year after the ban on whaling took effect, the number of automatic transmission rebuilds in the U.S. shot up from less than 1,000,000 to several million. Swiss watchmaker Rolex, S.A. uses eight different lubricants in the manufacturing and servicing of Rolex watch movements. Sperm whale oil is one of them and used at two key wear points. The last year sperm whale oil was available as a commodity, Rolex bought 5,000 gallons on the spot market which they currently have stored in Berne under 24 hour armed guard. The company's projections estimate it'll be sufficient to see the company's needs through 2050. Incredibly, during the early days of whaling, sperm whale oil was just as apt to be used as lamp and cooking oil as it was as a precision machinery lubricant. I'm unaware of any commercial use for remaining parts of the slaughtered mammals except as fertilizer or fodder.
[ May 27, 2004, 11:46 AM: Message edited by: Ray H ]