izwest (izwest) wrote,

Born to crawl and fly: special abilities flying kite

The engineers decided to learn the secret of "flying" snakes.

In the jungles of South and Southeast Asia inhabit the Paradise embellished snake (Chrysopelea paradisi). They belong to the genus of the so-called decorated arboreal snakes (genus Chrysopelea), which possess unprecedented for reptiles ability — they are able to traverse through the air rather big for reptiles distances (10 meters or more) in just a few seconds. This is unusual for reptiles called flying snakes.

Actually decorated with snakes, of course, do not fly — they glide, but they do it in pretty impressive fashion. Before flying reptile crawls to the end of the branch and hangs from it.

Selecting a direction, it pushes off the rest of the branch part of the tail and goes into free flight, continuing to squirm. During the flight, usually round the body of the snake becomes surprisingly flat. Reptile spreads its ribs and pulls the stomach, creating a bottom concave surface. This transformation makes her body more perfect – in the aerodynamic sense.

A team of scientists decided to find out exactly how the Paradise is decorated with snakes could emulate the majestic mythological dragons and refute the famous expression, "born to crawl cannot fly".

To keep track of how writhing snakes during the flight, the study's lead author Isaac Eaton of the applied physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University (Maryland, USA) and his colleagues attached reflective tape on the back of the serpent and used high-speed cameras for motion capture.

A new experiment shows that snakes do complex combination of movements when they are in flight. The researchers found that if you expect a snake undulating curve their bodies from side to side, up and down, and tails during the flight we rise above and below the snake's head.

Thus, winding movement of the snake in the air are not the typical imitation of snake locomotion on land or in the water — side wave movement, although it was previously thought. These movements help snakes reptiles graceful and far to plan.

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Having established this, the researchers, they created a computer simulation of the flying snakes. "Virtual" snakes show the same movements that Paradise adorned with snakes during the flight. But those who are not twisted during the flight, failed, and quickly smailis on the ground instead of consistently scheduling up to the landing.


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