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Introduction: Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight.

August 31 , 2016

One of the defining features of the aerial environment is its variability; air is almost never still. This has profound consequences for flying animals, affecting their flight stability, speed selection, energy expenditure and choice of flight path. All these factors have important implications for the ecology of flying animals, and the ecosystems they interact with, as well as providing bio-inspiration for the development of unmanned aerial vehicles. In this introduction, we touch on the factors that drive the variability in airflows, the scales of variability and the degree to which given airflows may be predictable. We then summarize how papers in this volume advance our understanding of the sensory, biomechanical, physiological and behavioural responses of animals to air flows. Overall, this provides insight into how flying animals can be so successful in this most fickle of environments.

Emily L. C. Shepard, Andrew N. Ross & Steven J. Portugal (2016)
Introduction: Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: 371 20150382;
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0382


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