Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Secret Life: Flying Snakes...not on a plane

New research out of Virginia Tech. has looked at the dynamics of gliding reptiles or flying snakes!

The snakes can "fly" by flinging themselves off their tree-top perches and gliding to another tree or to the ground.

The researchers looked at Chrysopelea paradisi and recorded their gliding patterns on camera after allowed the researchers to create and analyse 3-D reconstructions fo the animals' gliding patterns during the flight.

The results show that, despite travelling up to 24 metres from their starting point, they never reached an "equilibrium gliding" state but neither did they simple plummet to the ground....contd. here.

My latest guest post for PBS NOVA's Secret Life of Scientists blog is now online. This week's episode features physicist and glider pilot Allan Adams talking about his love of being in the air and condensing the history of the universe into 30 seconds!

You can read the post and watch the episode here.


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