Educated Earth // Videos - Life On Earth - The Flying Snake
User:
Pass:
Remember Me
Forgot Pass Register

Our educational work is entirely supported by people like you. Your donations directly add new exhibits and new features to the website, and even helps us open the Prehistoria Natural History Center!




eXTReMe Tracker

Videos / Life On Earth / The Flying Snake







The Flying Snake
Loading the player...

The Flying Snake
This video illustrates the gliding behavior of the flying snake, or Chrysopelea, involving the takeoff and aerial phase of the trajectory.


  • Currently 3.00/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 3.0 / 5 (438 votes)
Posted by nova on July 23, 2011
Hits: 10182

More Videos

Last Landing Of Space Shuttle Endeavour
Last Landing Of Space Shuttle Endeavour
Type: Astronomy
Magnetic Levitation
Magnetic Levitation
Type: Physics & Chemistry
Dolphin Blows Bubble Rings
Dolphin Blows Bubble Rings
Type: Life On Earth
Milky Way Over The Alps
Milky Way Over The Alps
Type: Astronomy
Planet Discovered Orbiting Two Stars
Planet Discovered Orbiting Two Stars
Type: Astronomy
Are Mushrooms The New Plastic?
Are Mushrooms The New Plastic?
Type: Making A Difference
Educating The Leaders Of Tomorrow
Educating The Leaders Of Tomorrow
Type: Humanity
How Potato Chips Are Made
How Potato Chips Are Made
Type: Tech & Gadgets
Physics Engine Demonstration
Physics Engine Demonstration
Type: Tech & Gadgets
Tarsier
Tarsier
Type: Life on Earth
The Paradox Of Choice
The Paradox Of Choice
Type: Humanity
Plastics Kill
Plastics Kill
Type: Making A Difference
The Oil Spill's Unseen Culprits, Victims
The Oil Spill's Unseen Culprits, Victims
Type: Earth Sciences
The End of Time and Back Again
The End of Time and Back Again
Type: Astronomy
Credit Crisis Explained Visually
Credit Crisis Explained Visually
Type: Humanity

Comments

Posted by skywalker on November 25, 2010 at 6:31 am
Some snakes don't need to be on a plane to take flight. The "flying" snake (or paradise tree snake, Chrysopelea paradisi) launches its sleek frame into the ether from precipitously tall trees in Asia and sails downward.

This seemingly strange behavior—particularly for an animal that has no limbs or skin flaps itself—has been long known, if not well described. But it has been a slippery puzzle for physicists, who have struggled to analyze the snakes' take-off and flight patterns.

New analysis of these sailing serpents helps to explain their curious trajectories.

Letting snakes leap from a 15-meter tower, Jake Socha, an assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech, and colleagues filmed a sampling of snakes (60 to 74 centimeters long) with four video cameras.

Rather than a smooth, even glide (known as equilibrium gliding, as executed by airborne birds), these snakes seemed to slither frenetically through the air. But all of their thrashing worked to reduce their fall speed (from about six meters per second to four meters per second) and gliding angle (from 32-48 degrees to 18-32 degrees).

"The snake is pushed upward—even though it is moving downward—because the upward component of the aerodynamic force is greater than the snake's weight," Socha said in a prepared statement. The new research suggests that the snakes' soaring might be due to specifically tuned undulations which could create vortex-induced lift, Socha and his colleagues noted in a study, to be published November 24 in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. The research was also presented Monday at the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

"Hypothetically, this means that if the snake continued on like this, it would eventually be moving upward in the air—quite an impressive feat for a snake," Socha said. Models show, however, that the unexpected upthrust is only passing—at least in the experimental setting, in which "the snake hits the ground." But in the snakes' native forest habitat, where trees are much higher and distances longer, the oscillating ophidians might remain airborne much longer.

But those with a fear of flying snakes needn't worry unless their travel plans will take them into a South Asian forest—or reruns of the 2006 film starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Posted by Tibor on May 18, 2011 at 9:56 am
Fantastic write-up Skywalker!
User: Pass: Remember Me

To comment on this item, please login or register.


Warning: Unknown: Your script possibly relies on a session side-effect which existed until PHP 4.2.3. Please be advised that the session extension does not consider global variables as a source of data, unless register_globals is enabled. You can disable this functionality and this warning by setting session.bug_compat_42 or session.bug_compat_warn to off, respectively in Unknown on line 0