Hummingbird by Steven Spence Animals Biology 

Amazing Hummingbirds: Dancing in the Air

By Steven Spence Dancing in the Air A hummingbird puts fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to shame. Not only can it hover, it can also fly forward, backwards, sideways, and even upside down! During a mating display, the male Anna’s Hummingbird can accelerate up to 385 body lengths (g-force 10) per second during a dive. A Peregrine falcon dives at only 200 body lengths per second, and a Mig-25 fighter jet dives a mere 40 times its length. Hovering hummingbirds use a “figure 8” wing motion. Wind tunnel studies have shown…

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Structural Coloration in Bird Feathers Animals Biology Featured 

Structural Coloration in Bird Feathers

By Steven Spence Pimping Your Ride, the Natural Way If you are familiar with Pimp My Ride, a TV show about customizing old cars, you will know that one of the key elements in each customization is a bold paint job. It turns out that nature is ahead of TV. Biomimetics is the science of harnessing (or mimicking) nature in the design of human-engineered products. Aircraft wings have been improved with inspiration from birds, bats, and even sharks. ¬†Geckos and their amazing gripping properties have inspired the development of adhesives…

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