Daily Archives: December 11, 2011

The kestrel’s wind-hover

The kestrel is a spectacular bird, known for its tendency to hunt by flying into the wind at windspeed, resulting in a unique kind of hovering called “wind-hovering”. While it is not a true hover, which is achievable only by insects and hummingbirds, it is an effective hover with respect to the ground, and gives […]

The Limit of Aerial Evolution

The thought of a Cessna 152 dropping out of the sky from 20,000 ft at 300 mph and pulling out of the plunge five feet off of the ground would scare most pilots to death. But for Argentavis magnificens, it was a lifestyle. Six million years ago, the twenty-three foot wide monster bird would come […]

Honeybees: Control of Flight Speed

Honeybees are interesting creatures. They are social and cooperative insects that work together in a harmonized environment. Honeybees are hardworking creatures, pollinating our flowers and creating honey that humans crave. But how are such small and busy insects able to control their flight while being able to dodge obstacles? It has been determined that honeybees […]

The Unique Abilities of Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds display exquisite aerial shows that no other birds can imitate. Their anatomical advantage allows them to maneuver their tiny bodies in such intricate ways, like those of an Olympic gymnast; they are able to fly backwards, belly up, and make swift, agile movements during flight. All these unique motions are results of the hummingbirds […]