Flight is a concept that has, until relatively recently in history, eluded humanity. However, birds have been successfully flying for approximately 130 million years, proving themselves to be a physical marvel of the natural world. And while our means of flight have historically been crude in design and performance, nature provides an elegant, efficient solution to get creatures off of the ground. Rüppell’s griffon vultures have been recorded flying as high as 37,000 ft, while some species of shorebirds have been recorded flying as far as from Alaska to New Zealand over eight days without stopping. But how exactly do birds seem to effortlessly overcome gravity so effectively? And perhaps more importantly, how might we apply these answers to improve manmade aircraft?Continue reading “Staying airborne: How bird wings are built for aerodynamic and efficient flight”
Tag: flying animals
What do birds and washing machines have in common? Shockingly, it’s not the ability to wash clothes. Rather, most birds and washing machines are great examples of vibration isolation systems.Continue reading “Which is more stable, washing machines or birds? The answer might surprise you”
Have you ever wondered how a woodpecker is capable of banging its head against a tree so furiously without seriously injuring itself? The impact of a woodpecker’s beak with a tree can exceed speeds of up to 6 meters per second and occur over 12,000 times a day.These kinds of numbers are what allow woodpeckers to smash through trees to get to those tasty bugs that live inside.Continue reading “How much wood can a woodpecker peck? The Science Behind a Woodpecker’s Anatomy”
What do hummingbirds and nectar bats have in common?
Nectar!Continue reading “How do Hummingbirds and Nectar Bats Hover?”
How long can you stand up before you get tired?
This is an important question for animals that sleep standing up, like horses and flamingos. Our joints are stabilized by muscles, but the constant activation of muscles needed to maintain balance requires energy and induces fatigue.Continue reading “How do Flamingos Stand on One Leg?”