Birds help scientists understand flight

By studying the vortices produced by birds’ wings, scientists hope to understand how they fly.

Obie the parrotlet.
Lentink Lab, Stanford University

Researchers at Stanford University recently found a new way to precisely measure the vortices created by the wings of birds like Obie during flight. The results shed greater light on how these creatures produce enough lift to fly, and challenge the accuracy of three aerodynamics models long used to predict animal flight.

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