Navigation Links
Flapping protective wings increase lift
Date:5/29/2012

New research from Lund University in Sweden reveals the value of carrying two layers of wings around. The researchers studied dung beetles and the way their protective forewings actually function. These wings do not only protect but also help the beetles to lift off from the ground albeit at a cost.

The forewings of beetles, the elytra, are hardened structures which protect the insect's flying wings and body. The function of the forewings in flight has been questioned, which is what prompted researchers at Lund University's Department of Biology to study how the forewings and the underlying flying wings work in dung beetles. The researchers studied the air flow created by the wings when the beetles fly in a wind tunnel. The wind tunnel in Lund is one of a few of its kind in the world.

"The results show that the forewings, which are held out and flap during flight, generate lift, helping the beetles to stay airborne", says Christoffer Johansson Westheim, researcher at Lund University.

The study also shows, however, that the beetles are less effective at generating lift than other animals, as a result of their forewings negatively affecting their flying wings. Thus the protection afforded by the hardened forewings comes at a cost in the form of lower efficiency in flight. One conclusion to be drawn from this is that if the flying wings alone could provide enough power to keep the insect in flight, the forewings would fold back over the body while the beetle is flying, which is precisely what happens in some species. The study is the first of its kind on beetles, but the researchers consider that the results could apply generally to beetles whose flying wings flap behind forewings despite the fact that the dung beetles are a fairly extreme case, with a body weight of 5-7 grams and a wingspan of around 15 centimetres.

The beetles used in the current study were captured in South Africa, where they normally fly at night over open terrain, on the hunt for dung. Their flight speed is high and the dung beetles are hardly known for their manoeuvrability. They often miss the dung they are looking for and land some way away from it, but they prefer to walk the last distance rather than attempt a more accurate landing. The research study is part of a project aiming to understand the adaptations of various animals to flight, and how the animals' different origins affect their capacity to fly.


'/>"/>

Contact: Christoffer Johansson Westheim
Christoffer.Johansson@biol.lu.se
46-462-224-955
Lund University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Soaring is better than flapping
2. Lead-flapping objects experience less wind resistance than their trailing counterparts
3. Following the leader can be a drag, according to students research on flapping flags
4. Folic acid food enrichment potentially protective against childhood cancers
5. Real smart: Protective clothing with built-in A/C
6. Estrogen hormone reveals protective ability after traumatic brain injury
7. The immune system has protective memory cells, researchers discover
8. Spray-on protective coating wins R&D 100 Award
9. Experimental radioprotective drug safe for lung cancer patients, says Pitt study
10. Good cholesterol structure identified, could help explain protective effects
11. Trojan Horse ploy to sneak protective drug into brains of stroke patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2016)... PUNE, India , March 22, 2016 ... new market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for ... Fingerprint, Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", ... consumer industry is expected to reach USD ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... , March 18, 2016 --> ... of Biometrics, ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and ... security companies in the border security market and the continuing ... and Europe has led visiongain to ... improved success. --> defence & security companies ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... , March 15, 2016 Yissum Research ... the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced today ... remote sensing technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera ... $2.0 million from private investors. ... on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... Intelligent Implant Systems announced today that the two-level components for the Revolution™ ... States. These components expand the capabilities of the system and allow Revolution™ to ... of 2015, the company has seen significant sales growth in 1Q 2016, and the ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... company reports the Company,s CEO  was featured in ... Accelerators Enter When VCs Fear To Tread: ... Leader magazine is an essential business ... everything from emerging biotechs to Big Pharmas. Their ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 ... ... QuickSTAT has made significant investments in recruiting top industry experts, and expanding its ... Platform, which provides industry-leading tools for clients to manage their clinical trial projects. ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments (SSI) will be showcasing a ... and Expo. Shimadzu’s high-performance instruments enable laboratories to test cannabis products for potency, ... by booth 1021 to learn how Shimadzu’s instruments can help improve QA/QC testing, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: