29 November 2010

Operation snow storm: lab meeting

During the lab meeting today (29 November 2010) the AFL-members that made it to the Ecology Building, in spite of the snow-storm, discussed the recent paper about “The effect of body size on the wing movements of pteropodid bats, with insights into thrust and lift production”. This paper, from the Brown University Group, reports on kinematic parameters studied in six species of bats. The paper concludes that “the ways that bats modulate their wing kinematics to produce thrust and lift over the course of a wing beat cycle are independent of body size”. How convenient if this proves to be true! The authors however thinks that small bats, such as Phyllostomids, may differ from the medium to large sized bats studied here. One reason put forward could be that small bats, using a leading edge vortex, are more insect-like in their use of aerodynamic mechanism, and therefore different from other bats. It will be interesting to find out of smaller species of bats differ in flight.