Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Falcon feathers pop up during dive

Date:
February 6, 2014
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
Similar to wings and fins with self-adaptive flaps, the feathers on a diving peregrine falcon's feathers may pop up during high speed dives.

The body of a falcon changes shape as they gain speed.
Credit: Benjamin Ponitz; CC-BY

Similar to wings and fins with self-adaptive flaps, the feathers on a diving peregrine falcon's feathers may pop up during high speed dives, according to a study published in PLOS ONE on February 5, 2014 by Benjamin Ponitz from the Institute of Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics in Germany and colleagues.

Peregrine falcons are one of the world's fastest birds and may reach up to 200 miles per hour when diving. Scientists studying the body shape and wing contour of the bird want to better understand how they reach these high diving speeds while maintaining maneuverability. Researchers trained peregrine falcons to dive in front of a 200 foot dam, and scientists captured 35 dives with a stereo high-speed camera system and hi-res camera. The images allowed researchers to reconstruct the flight path and body shape of the falcon during certain flight phases, and to build a life size model of the falcons. They then analyzed the aerodynamics of the model bird in a wind tunnel.

The body of a falcon changes shape as they gain speed. During the 200 foot dive, birds reached 50 miles per hour and the body shape showed a V-type configuration, with the leading edge of the wing appearing like a wavy structure with grooves in the gaps between the neck and both shoulders. A comparison of the high-resolution pictures of the diving peregrine and visualizations of the model in the wind tunnel indicate that feathers may pop-up in the same regions where local flow separation occurs.

These results may shed light on the aerodynamics and structural adaptations of high speed diving. Benjamin Ponitz added, "Only the combined investigations of a model in a wind-tunnel with the dives of individual falcons allowed us to reveal diving flight details. In particular, feathers of peregrines pop-up and might prevent local flow separation."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by PLOS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Benjamin Ponitz, Anke Schmitz, Dominik Fischer, Horst Bleckmann, Christoph Brόcker. Diving-Flight Aerodynamics of a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (2): e86506 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086506

Cite This Page:

PLOS. "Falcon feathers pop up during dive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206101105.htm>.
PLOS. (2014, February 6). Falcon feathers pop up during dive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206101105.htm
PLOS. "Falcon feathers pop up during dive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206101105.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins