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 2.97/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 3.0 / 5 (390 votes)
Posted by nova on July 23, 2011
Hits: 9976

More Videos

Star Formation In The Rosette Nebula
Star Formation In The Rosette Nebula
Type: Astronomy
Space Exploration 2009
Space Exploration 2009
Type: Astronomy
When Piranhas Attack
When Piranhas Attack
Type: Life on Earth
Frozen Planet
Frozen Planet
Type: Documentaries
When Piranhas Attack
When Piranhas Attack
Type: Life on Earth
What Is The Line Between Life And Not-Life?
What Is The Line Between Life And Not-Life?
Type: Biology & Medicine
Helicopter Cowboys
Helicopter Cowboys
Type: Tech & Gadgets
Penguins Huddling To Keep Warm
Penguins Huddling To Keep Warm
Type: Life On Earth
Slow-Mo Apollo 11 Launch
Slow-Mo Apollo 11 Launch
Type: Astronomy
Up Close Video of Auckland, NZ Tornado
Up Close Video of Auckland, NZ Tornado
Type: Earth Sciences
FireScout: Tactical Helicopter Drone
FireScout: Tactical Helicopter Drone
Type: War
Cyborg Insects
Cyborg Insects
Type: Tech & Gadgets
Mercury - Messenger of the Gods
Mercury - Messenger of the Gods
Type: Astronomy
Gaddafi's Toxic Legacy
Gaddafi's Toxic Legacy
Type: Humanity
Microbot for Swimming in Small Arteries
Microbot for Swimming in Small Arteries
Type: Tech & Gadgets

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