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Bird Flight - How Do Birds Fly?
Listed below are adaptations for bird flight. In order to fly, a bird must solve two basic problems: the reduction of weight and the increase of power.
Most of the anatomical and physiological differences that set birds apart from
other vertebrates seem to be adaptations devoted to the solution of these two problems. Modern aviation technology has all been derived from the study of birds' flight mechanics. It may be a long
while before any type of aircraft will have the kind of abilities that birds have when it comes to flying. Below are discussed some of these marvel adaptations that birds have for flight.
Codes for different bird flight adaptations:
W = Weight-reducing
E = Energy promoting
S = Structural
B = Balancing
O = Orienting
A = Aerodynamic
Forelimbs (wings) attached closer to center of gravity and
farther from head than in other animals (B, A)
The natural motion of forelimb is up and down, rather than
back and forth (as in other animals) (S, A)
Forelimbs fold into a "Z" close to the body (A)
Hand bones are small, fused, flattened and specialized to
manipulate the flight feathers (S, W, A)
Aerodynamic shape of forelimb provides lift and propulsive
Hope you enjoyed learning about all the different adaptations
of bird flight. You can now better appreciate the marvel of bird flight and on
days wish you could be as free as a bird:
"When once you have tasted
flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there
you have been, and there you will always long to return."
-- Leonardo da Vinci
Here's a cool
Mastery of Flight
where David Attenborough, in a glider with pilot Suzanne Connor, rides the thermals over the dramatic peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. Back on the ground, a magnificent trained golden eagle alights gracefully onto Attenborough's arm,
allowing him to appreciate fully a bird's lightweight bone structure.