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Still Waters

Birds' V formation finally explained

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The mystery of why so many birds fly in a V formation may have been solved.

Scientists from the Royal Veterinary College in London fitted data loggers to a flock of rare birds that were being trained to migrate by following a microlight.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-25737960

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I thought this was old news

That IMAX documentary "Legends Of Flight" Says the same thing. It's a couple of years old isn't it?

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Mythbusters - who are surely beyond criticism as they are on TV - also covered it in 2011:

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I wonder how much this cost in taxpayers money/subsidy to 'discover' what is already known?

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I guess I missed the results of the first study.. so thanks for posting this Still.

I'd like to see someone figure out how flocks of birds and schools of fish swoop about in perfect unison! Ever see that (or film)? They seem to move at exactly the same time in exactly the same pattern. I suspect their sensing of air OR water currents might play a role ?? .... Or better yet, their sensing of magnetic fields. ¿¿

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...I'd like to see someone figure out how flocks of birds and schools of fish swoop about in perfect unison! Ever see that (or film)? They seem to move at exactly the same time in exactly the same pattern. I suspect their sensing of air OR water currents might play a role ?? .... Or better yet, their sensing of magnetic fields. ¿¿

There is some work already done, eg this:

http://dl.acm.org/ci...on.cfm?id=37406

but that is a scientific article that would require payment to get - if you are genuinely interested, pop along to your local library and tell them you'd like to see it - they will normally have subscriptions to such services, or may even be able to get you a copy of the document in which it is published - in this case ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics, Volume 21 Issue 4, July 1987.

There's probably more recent research but that's the first one I saw. Try Google Scholar for this sort of enquiry.

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I am more fascinated by the birds following their human foster parent who is in a microlight!

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Was listening to an interview with him on NPR. Accroding to Portugal it has long been the accepted wisdom that birds fly this way for reasons of reducing drag but this was the first opportunity they've had to actually confirm it with data.

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Because it's too hard to fly in an "S" formation??

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I thought they already knew this because the lead bird drops back to be replaced by those in the back from time to time; without the lift the other birds provide it is the first to tire.

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Well, why NOT fly in a "V"?

Actually, why not fly in a "Q" formation?

I'd pay to see that.

Edited by Duchess Gummybuns

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This was taught to me in grade school, 25 years ago. Not news.

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