A bat trick

<  A bat trick

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From Agence France Press:

Feb. 29, 2008 — Nectar-sipping bats use the same aerodynamic trick that bugs use to hover in place, a study in the journal Science has found.

Swedish researchers set up honey water feeding stations in a massive wind tunnel and used fog, lasers and high speed cameras to track exactly how the bats flew.

They found that when the bats flapped their wings downward they created tiny air cyclones above the wings called a leading vortex which pulls the animal upward and allows them to hover in place without expending nearly as much energy as simply flapping their wings.

Without this trick they would not have the strength to hover in place in order to feed as the vortex provides as much as 40 percent of the lift force which keeps the bats in the air.

The bats used the thumbs and fingers embedded in the skin membrane of their flexible wings much like flaps on an airplane to alter the curve of the wing and create the lift force necessary to hover.

“To be able to generate these vortexes they need this exquisite control of their wing surface and it’s a really delicate thing to control the stability of this vortex,” said lead author Anders Hedenstrom of Lund University.

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2 Responses to “A bat trick”

Josh Brown

This is pure curiosity. I am not skeptical of the existence of vampires or any other unexplained phenomenon. My questions are as follows: Have any of you actually seen a vampire or any other, so called, mythical entity, do you guys get paid to do this type of work, and how do you get into this line of work?


Hi Josh,
Good questions. It’s hard to say if any of us have seen vampires, considering they may be very good as passing themselves off as human. I lean towards agnostic on the existence of the supernatural. I do believe on two occasions I’ve seen ghosts, although the first time occurred when I was very young and had run through a plate glass window and nearly bled out. I recall seeing an older woman in the emergency room bed next to mine. She was missing an arm and she was standing next to an older man. But later I learned from my parents that a woman from a car crash had died in the ER next to me.

Regarding this work, none of us get paid. We’re amateurs who do it as a hobby. We got into it by meeting on another web site and in December 2004 I began a blogger site to post chapters of my novel, The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire, online for constructive feedback from others.

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