HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
What determines the speed at which birds fly?

Aerodynamic scaling rules that explain how flight varies according to weight and wing loading have been used to compare general speeds of a wide range of flyers, from the smallest insects to the largest aircraft. In a paper published this week in the open access journal PLoS Biology, Thomas Alerstam, Mikael Rosen, and colleagues from the University of Lund in Sweden analyze the flight speeds of 138 bird species and overturn the general assumption that maximum flight speed of a species is solely determined by such rules. Flight speed doesnt just depend on the size of the bird (mass and wing loading), but also reflects functional constraints and the evolutionary lineage of the species in question.

The authors argue that only empirical measurements of flight speeds enable you to evaluate how general such aerodynamic rules really are. They used tracking radar measurements of the cruising speeds of migrating birds (collected by themselves and others) to do the analysis and provide the comprehensive dataset with the paper (e.g. this contains the flight speed of approximately one-third of all European bird species). Their analysis reveals that the difference between the speed of small and large birds is not as great as expected; they suggest that this surprising result is likely to be the result of disadvantages associated with very slow speeds among smaller birds and with very fast speeds for larger birds. They also show that the evolutionary history of the species helps explain much of the variation in flight speed: species of the same group tend to fly at similar characteristic speeds. For example, birds of prey and herons had slow flight speeds, on average, given their mass and wing loading, whereas the average speed for songbirds and shorebirds was faster than would be predicted.

This study suggests that there are different functional adaptations affecting flight differently among different types of bird, and that there exists a diversity of cr
'"/>

Contact: Natalie Bouaravong
press@plos.org
415-568-3445
Public Library of Science
16-Jul-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. MIT tool determines landslide risk in tropics
2. The floral network -- what determines who pollinates whom
3. Form determines function
4. What determines body size?
5. Genetic tug of war determines sexual differentiation
6. Creativity determines sexual success, research suggests
7. Weapon performance determines mating success in the collared lizard
8. Study finds colony size selection determines adult survival and dispersal preferences in kestrels
9. Environment more than genes determines childs social aggressiveness
10. Researchers discover gene that determines asthma susceptibility by regulating inflammation
11. International team determines geographic origin of leprosy

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/9/2019)... ... July 08, 2019 , ... KMK Consulting, Inc. ... MA. This expansion strengthens KMK’s presence for the sales, support, and delivery of ... effectiveness consulting for the biotechnology corridor. With this expansion, KMK can better ...
(Date:6/24/2019)... ... June 24, 2019 , ... According to the ... of the four most common STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis (or "trich") and syphilis. And ... gay and bisexual African American men accounted for the largest number of HIV diagnoses ...
(Date:6/16/2019)... CHICAGO (PRWEB) , ... June 14, 2019 , ... ... and multi-pillar Oracle Cloud customer, will deliver a joint presentation with Versiti’s CIO ... Florida, June 16-19 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. , Versiti Vice President ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2019)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... May 15, 2019 , ... Milton ... Year in recognition for his work within the biomedical industry, where he is changing ... improved medical devices. , “William Harding epitomizes the vision of our founders – ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... , ... May 13, 2019 , ... ... helium-based leak testing instruments for the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device and Food Packaging ... website. The redesigned website aims to improve LDA’s ability to communicate directly with ...
(Date:5/8/2019)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... May 07, 2019 , ... Standing at 16.2 hands, Atlas is ... too, participating in a drill team and barrel racing, among other activities. When loping ... ligament. He went from being a busy horse to only being able to walk. ...
(Date:5/4/2019)... PAULO, Brazil (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2019 ... ... lecture given by the President of the Dakila Pesquisas Association, the scientist and ... the Councilmen 2019, in Brasília (DF). Urandir detailed the results of some research ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: