Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Not So Flying Flying Lemur (Which Isn’t Even a Lemur)

Although commonly referred to as flying lemurs, colugos glide rather than fly. In addition, they are in fact not lemurs at all, rendering there name completely misleading. There are two species of colugos, one is The Malayan flying lemur and the other is the Philippines flying lemur. Together these two species make up the Dermoptera order. Colugos are […]

Wing-Suits: Humans Surpassing Animals in Flight

The wing suit, the closest man has gotten to the dream of unassisted flight, was originally developed in the 1930s to fabric between the legs and from the arms to the waist.  The originals were made out of wood, canvas, steel, and whale bone (as you can imagine, not very reliable). increase horizontal movement.  They were redeveloped […]

Birds, Planes, and Helicopters, Oh My.

Helicopters are a very unique human-made flying machine. Unlike airplanes, which use wings and propellers to produce lift and thrust separately, helicopters use a single rotor at the top of the aircraft that produces both thrust and lift. This makes them more analogous to birds, which use twisting of their wings to produce lift and […]

The Hummincopter

We as humans have always marveled at the sight of birds and insects soaring through the air. But eventually we achieved flight with airplanes and even hovering with helicopters. One comes to think, do birds marvel at the wonder of the hummingbirds? Hummingbirds are quite a special species of birds. Like many other birds, hummingbirds […]

The Ruppells Griffon Vulture; The Highest Recorded Flying Bird

We’ve all traveled in a plane, whether it was just for business or for vacation. We’ve all been thousands of feet up in the air in the comfort of an airplane admiring the beauty of the ground below us. Unfortunately, none of us will ever be able to experience what it’s like to soar as […]

It’s Not Only Fine Feathers That Make Fine Birds

We touch keratin every day of our lives. It makes up our hair, nails, and some clothing. The keratin present is mammals is called α-helix keratin, which you can think of protein folded in a helix. The same protein that makes up these materials is what the feathers of a bird, but it is folded differently. Imagine a helix stretched […]

Complex Flight of the Honey Bee

The honeybee, one of the world’s major pollinators. Admirably, about one-third of all our produce comes from the bees’ ability to effectively pollinate plants. At times it seems so simple, the way the Honey Bee flies, from hive, to plant, and back again to the hive. However, the science behind Bee flight is actually quite […]

Desert Locusts: Nature’s marathon “flyers”?

Desert Locusts are capable of flying vast distances without spending much energy. This amazing feature of these creatures have been studied by scientists along the last decades. The answer to the question as to how do they do it is a bit tricky, but it is also very interesting to see how such a small […]

Bats: A New Evolutionary Breed & A New Kind of Flight

The evolution of bats, even with ever-emerging research and fossil records, remains a mysterious one. Most evolution scientists agree that bats must have evolved from mammals, but unfortunately they can not find strong enough evidence as to which common ancestor bats splintered off from. Scientists now theorize that bats, the only mammal known to have […]

Dragonflies, the mystical insect

Before the age of the internet, computer games, and gaming consoles, kids would play outdoors. When I lived in China as a child, I remember trying to catch dragonflies with my friends; it was impossibly difficult. We would run around in the fields and spend hours in vain trying to catch these elusive insects. As […]