Navigation Links
Mathematical butterflies provide insight into how insects fly
Date:3/25/2013

In Robert A. Heinlein's science-fiction novel, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, one of the characters states that butterflies are just "self-propelled flowers." While Heinlein's description of the insect's aerodynamic ability is quite poetic, it does little to scientifically explain it. Four Japanese researchers have done a bit better by developing sophisticated numerical simulations of a butterfly's forward flight. In a paper in the American Institute of Physics' journal Physics of Fluids, the researchers describe how they mathematically modeled a butterfly as a four-link rigid-body system consisting of a thorax (the segment of the insect to which the wings are attached), an abdomen, and the two wings.

Using data from observations of butterfly flight in wind tunnels, the researchers conducted three different types of simulations with their model that were defined by the position and attitude of the thorax: tethered (where the thorax is fixed), prescribed (where the thorax is programmed to move in an expected manner) and free-flight (where the thorax movement is unrestricted). They found that their mathematical butterfly did as predicted make use of the tiny, swirling vortices that form in the direction of travel during a downward flap, pushing air down and providing lift. However, they also observed that the flow around the butterfly is much more turbulent than expected. This turbulent flow triggers the complex trajectories characteristic to the flights of butterflies that may be one of the strategies by which the insects avoid predators.

Finally, the researchers determined that the pitching angle of the thorax is the key to controlled periodic flight, noting that living butterflies likely can continually sense the attitude of their thorax and adjust their flapping motion accordingly to ensure stability. The researchers state that their future work will focus on identifying the mechanism by which this control is achieved.


'/>"/>
Contact: Catherine Meyers
cmeyers@aip.org
301-209-3088
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. UC Riverside mathematicians recognized by American Mathematical Society
2. Persistence or extinction: Through a mathematical lens
3. UF study shows spiders, not birds, may drive evolution of some butterflies
4. Massachusetts butterflies move north as climate warms
5. Rewarding work for butterflies
6. Monarch butterflies down again this year as decline continues, says Texas A&M expert
7. Study reveals how monarch butterflies recolonize northern breeding range
8. Commonly used herbicides seen as threat to endangered butterflies
9. Human microbe study provides insight into health, disease
10. Pig brain models provide insights into human cognitive development
11. Strange phallus-shaped creature provides crucial missing link
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/31/2014)... biomass burning burning forests to create agricultural ... agriculture and wildfires figures into both climate ... release of a new study by Stanford University ... the degree of that contribution had never been ... paper published July 30 in the Journal ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... Kansas State University researchers have completed a 20-year ... Flint Hills prairie at different times of the ... current late spring time frame has no measurable ... may have multiple benefits. , The study was ... Konza Prairie Biological Station fire chief, and Joseph ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... people make a rational choice to be liberal or ... it a matter of genetics?, Two political scientists from ... University say that neither conscious decision-making nor parental upbringing ... lean right. , A growing body of evidence shows ... core of political differences, the researchers say in the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Stanford professor finds that wildfires and other burns play bigger role in climate change 2Stanford professor finds that wildfires and other burns play bigger role in climate change 3Stanford professor finds that wildfires and other burns play bigger role in climate change 4Study finds benefits to burning Flint Hills prairie in fall and winter 2Study finds benefits to burning Flint Hills prairie in fall and winter 3Scientists find growing consensus: Political attitudes derive from body and mind 2
... more uses for local farm products were the focus of ... on selected Ontario farms. This province-wide initiative is the only ... farms to evaluate the effectiveness of using biodiesel in agriculture. ... adoption of biodiesel use on Ontario farms through a series ...
... medicine technique and molecular imaging to "see" programmed cell ... or abnormal cells—may help in early identification of those ... say researchers in the April Journal of Nuclear Medicine. ... noninvasively identify cell loss—or apoptosis—in heart failure patients using ...
... they can display a comparable pattern of neural activity ... Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen ... from neural cells which exhibit a predefined pattern dynamics. ... in getting closer to understanding which of the possible ...
Cached Biology News:Biodiesel study targets cleaner air, cleaner engines 2Heart failure: Intervention possibilities from imaging programmed cell loss 22 brains -- 1 thought 22 brains -- 1 thought 3
(Date:7/31/2014)... Graphite Metallizing Corporation announces GRAPHALLOY® ... bearings are uniquely suited to prevent loss of lubrication ... the high temperatures . , Recently, a manufacturer ... engineers at Graphite Metallizing to overcome problems with movement ... operation, pans containing blocks of powder mixture are loaded ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... July 31, 2014 According to ... "Electrodes for Medical Devices Market (Diagnostic Electrodes - ECG, ... - TENS, Pacemakers, Defibrillators, Electrosurgical and Other Electrodes) - ... 2013 - 2019," the global electrodes market for medical ... and is estimated to reach a market worth USD ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... California (PRWEB) July 31, 2014 CollabRx, ... that inform therapeutic decision-making in oncology, today announced that ... 14, 2014 to discuss the Company's financial results for ... an update about the business in the current fiscal ... call beginning on Thursday, August 14, 2014, at 5 ...
(Date:7/31/2014)...  Smith & Nephew (LSE:SN, NYSE: ... announced its entry into the forefoot market with ... System. Comprised of three separate repair options, the ... repair and reconstruction, a metatarsal osteotomy guide, and ... fusion, also known as hammer toe correction. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Graphite Metallizing Announces Bearings for High Temperature Oven Applications 2Graphite Metallizing Announces Bearings for High Temperature Oven Applications 3Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 2Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 3Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 4Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 5Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 6CollabRx, Inc. Schedules First Quarter Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Conference Call and Business Update 2Smith & Nephew scores a HAT-TRICK with its entry into the high-growth hammer toe repair market 2Smith & Nephew scores a HAT-TRICK with its entry into the high-growth hammer toe repair market 3Smith & Nephew scores a HAT-TRICK with its entry into the high-growth hammer toe repair market 4
... Genomic Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: GHDX ) today reported financial ... Total revenue increased to $49.8 million in the first ... of 2010.  Product revenue was $49.5 million in the first quarter ... in the first quarter of 2010. Net loss ...
... /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- 3SBio Inc. (NASDAQ: SSRX ... biotechnology company focused on researching, developing, manufacturing and ... release its first quarter 2011 unaudited financial results ... May 11, 2011 at 8:00pm (US Eastern ). ...
... May 3, 2011 Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX ... 2011 on Monday, May 9, 2011, before the U.S. financial ... and conference call hosted by Stanley C. Erck, President and ... 10:00 a.m. Eastern time. The webcast and ...
Cached Biology Technology:Genomic Health Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Business Progress 2Genomic Health Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Business Progress 3Genomic Health Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Business Progress 4Genomic Health Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Business Progress 5Genomic Health Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Business Progress 6Genomic Health Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Business Progress 7Genomic Health Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Business Progress 83SBio Inc. Schedules Unaudited First Quarter 2011 Results 2