Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flying Snakes....RUN!

Warning. If you're afraid of snakes, look away.


Posted by Alexandru Nicolae

I've been extremely busy lately with school, having barely enough time for sleep let alone writing proper blog entries. So until my exams are finished I'm going to be posting some short (but interesting) videos on the "wow" part of science.

I present to you flying snakes! In reality, the species shown here, Chrysopelea paradisi, is really gliding and not flying. They can glide about 10 meters and use their characteristic undulating motion for a bit of extra propulsion. And get this, they can use this to escape from predators, or even attack arial prey!


On a side note, for some reason DARPA is interested in this research. Are they planning to make arial undulating search-and-destroy drones? Only time and a lot of phobias will tell.


Video Credit: Dr. Jake Socha, youtube channel:

References:

Socha JJ, Dempsey TO, LaBarbera ML. (2005). A 3-D kinematic analysis of gliding in a flying snake, Chrysopelea paradisi. J Exp Bio; 209: 1817-1833
doi:10.1242/jeb.01579

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