Daily Archives: October 10, 2011

That Thing Can Really Fly?

Weighing in at an average of 14 kilograms (about 30 pounds), the Andean Condor is the largest known bird with the capability of taking flight. If you are ever in the Andes Mountains, or the neighboring Pacific coasts that border South America, look for the bird’s dark black coloring coupled with white feathers surrounding its […]

Are hummingbirds just insects with feathers?

While hummingbirds are, of course, birds, which make up the Trochilidae family, their aerodynamic characteristics have been more closely attributed to insects.  Not only can the hummingbird hover indefinitely, in midair, it also makes up the only group of birds that possess the ability to fly backwards.  The humming bird, therefore, takes flapping flight to […]

Small Seeds Inspire Big Ideas

Many of us can remember as a child being fascinated by maple seeds, with their single wing, spinning gracefully to the ground. As it turns out, scientists also have been amazed by this process. So much so that since the 1950s, engineers have been trying to replicate the flight of these seeds. Maple seeds, a […]

Internal Adaptation for the Tree Lizard

So far in this class we have talked about many external adaptations in animals for flight. However the Neon Blue-Tailed Tree Lizard shows that animals can adapt internally as well to help them take to the skies. The Holaspis guentheri, or the Neon Blue-Tailed Tree Lizard, hails from a large area in Africa, where its […]