Sound of Silent Flight

Owls are well known for their almost silent flight. Previous studies of their flight feathers have revealed they have fringes on their trailing edge that suppress noise, but the way the fringes actually suppressed sound was not known, so a research team at scientists and engineers at Center for Aerial Intelligent Vehicles at Chiba University, […]

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Bat Flying

Oldest Bat Skeleton

Palaeontologists at the American Museum of Natural History and Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands have studied two bat skeletons found in the Green River Formation in Wyoming, USA, and claim to have found a new species of fossil bat.  Nearly 30 bat fossils have been found in the Green River formation, representing two species. […]

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Bat Flying

Botoxed Bats Billow in the Wind. 

Bat wings consists of a skin-covered fibrous membrane attached to the sides of their bodies and extending over their arms and elongated fingers.  The wings also contain long thin thread-like muscles embedded in the wing membrane.  Researchers at Brown University, USA, set out to see how these contribute to bat flight by getting bats to […]

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Salamander

Skydiving Salamanders

The wandering salamander is tree dwelling amphibian than living the canopy of some of the tallest trees in the world – coastal redwoods.  Like many animals that live in tree canopies it can jump off tree limbs and land safely further down the tree after a controlled glide.  The salamanders are well suited to a […]

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Tiny insects flying

How Featherwing Beetles Fly

Featherwing beetles are the world’s smallest beetles – less than 0.4mm long.  They are named featherwing because their wings consist of bristles rather than a solid sheet of tissue as in other flying insects.  The individual bristles have outgrowths giving them a brushlike appearance and their wings are folded under a pair of wing cases, […]

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Pintail

Fossil Fancy Tail Feathers

Fossil fancy tail feathers found, according to reports in ScienceDaily and Field Museum of Natural History Chicago 16 September 2021 and Current Biology 16 September 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.08.044. Chinese and American scientists have studied the fossil of an extinct bird found in the Jehol Biota in northeastern China. The fossil has been named Yuanchuavis kompsosoura […]

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Bats Flying

Bats Born Knowing Speed of Sound

Bats born knowing speed of sound, according to reports in ScienceDaily 5 May 2021 and ScienceAlert 6 May 2021, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 5 May 2021 doi: 10.1073/pnas.2024352118.  Echolocating bats work out how far away an object or landing place is by using the time taken for sounds to bounce off […]

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Pterosaur at Jurassic Ark

A Pterosaur Neck is Like a Bicycle

A pterosaur neck is like a bicycle reports Cell Press via SciTech Daily and ScienceDaily 14 April 2021, and iScience 14 April 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102338. Azhdarchid pterosaurs were the largest flying animals that ever lived, with a wingspan of up to 10 metres (33ft) and “ridiculously long necks” that could be longer than a giraffe […]

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Dragonfly Flying

Alive or dead, they are flipping good at it!

Alive or dead, they are flipping good at it! Dragonfly backflips described in articles in ScienceDaily 9 February 2021, Imperial College London news 10 February 2021, and PNAS 10 February 2021 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2676.  Dragonflies are noted for superb aerial manoeuvres, including flying backwards, but even the most agile flyer can be knocked off balance or […]

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Bats Flying

Baby Bats Prepared For Landing

Baby bats prepared for landing according to articles in Inside JEB 16 October 2019 and Journal of Experimental Biology 15 October 2019 doi:10.1242/jeb.209163. Echolocating bats use their sonar to help them land, as well as to navigate when our foraging for food. When bats are coming in to land they emit a rapid burst of […]

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