Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Flying Lemur

The flying lemur is one of the few mammals that exhibit the evolutionary gift of aerial locomotion. However, the flying lemur does not necessarily “fly” from one place to another, rather it glides through the rain forests of tropical Asia. This ability to glide is due to a thin, blanket-like membrane that extends between its […]

Synchronized Flight – The Starling

The Starling is a common passerine bird that can be found in temperate reigons throughout North America and Europe. It is a black songbird that has shiny green and purple feathers over its entire body. This bird has an average weight of about 78 grams and has a wingspan of about 35 cm. Also, the […]

Robotic Flies

While humans have been trying to build larger and larger flying machines that can carry more and more people and cargo, even more challenging has been the task of creating very small machines that can be controlled remotely and can fly in tight spaces. In the past few years, Robert Wood and his team at […]

Finding the Right Tailwind

After watching the above video, you may be astounded by the way the gecko lands on it feet much like a cat does. Many animals have self-correcting mechanisms for falls, but most work differently and it takes research to figure out the different ways for different species. Cats do it by twisting their body to […]

The Common Swift – Anything but Ordinary

The common swift is a medium-sized bird that, superficially, appears to be somewhat similar to other birds such as House Martins or Barn Swallows. The swift, however, is much more remarkable. The common swift spends almost its entire life in the air, essentially never touching the ground once it learns to fly.

Flying Phalanger

The Feathertail Glider, the smallest of all gliders, has a variety of names, including the Pygmy Gliding Possum, the Flying Phalanger, and the Flying Mouse. Ranging in size from 6.5cm-8cm, these tiny mammals can easily fit in your hand.

Microraptor: A Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs?

Humans have always looked at birds awed at the grace and ease with which the soar through the air. We strived to achieve the power of flight for thousands of years and only mastered the ability in the last century with the help of propellor and jet turbine powered flight. But what has puzzled scientists […]

Because Hopping Around Is So Last Season!

Wallace’s frog, The Abah River Flying Frog, The Parachute frog: a frog so unique yet with so many names. Regardless, this daring amphibian lives by swimming, jumping, hopping, and hunting insects the way all others frogs do and still took flight to add to its arsenal of skills! These creatures can be seen to have a […]

Moths: Wings Are For More Than Flying

If anyone has ever seen (or squashed) a moth, they’ve probably noticed the powdery residue that comes off them. What many people don’t understand is that that residue isn’t a powder. They’re scales…Yes, scales. The moth’s family nomenclature is Lepidoptera, which means “scale wing”. Why would moths have scales on the device that they primarily […]

Tail-or Made For Flight

Many people, myself included, often wish they had a tail. Wouldn’t it be cool to have an extra functional limb? Well, birds are one of the lucky animals that do have tails. However, they’re often overlooked because humans are so fascinated by their wings. Humans can fully function without tails, but the opposite is actually […]