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Wind Tunnel for Birds 126

bgood writes "'What, a swallow, carrying a coconut? ...' The Department of Animal Ecology at the University of Lund in Sweden uses a modern low-speed wind tunnel specially crafted for bird experiments. The birds are trained to fly in the 'test-section' and the tunnel can be tilted up or down to simulate ascent and descent. This link contains plenty of detail, complete with bird pictures. For those of you who yearn to build your own (non-bird-compliant) wind tunnel, you can find instructions in this Scientific American article."
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Wind Tunnel for Birds

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  • Re:horrible (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pacc ( 163090 ) on Sunday November 11, 2001 @07:42AM (#2550516) Homepage
    It's not horrible, the scientists using it said that they haven't even let a bird fly more tahn two days in a row, because they had to go home and sleep themselves. (Feature on Swedish Television "Nova")

    In context, they didn't even get close to the birds limits flying 3000 km without stop in 3 days, with species reaching over 10000 km.

    The bird themselves flies these distances in the wild and would have suffered more if held in captivity withouth the chance to get rid of the summer fat.
    In the spring they are released again in their natural environment.

    What interest the scientists is how the birds can manage to eat its own weight in a single day, and be able to use that energy to build up muscles extremely fast, and then use it up during the flight.

    Some reference in Swedish [publik.svt.se]
  • Re:Kinda Cruel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Raven42rac ( 448205 ) on Monday November 12, 2001 @12:35AM (#2552564)
    I get the "kinda cruel" part because the dog is not truly out in the wilderness, nor is the bird flying through the air. Animals are not stupid, they sense when they being held as a prisoner.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe