Quirks & Quarks How Snakes Fly

Quirks & Quarks How Snakes Fly

It is well known how quickly and efficiently snakes can slither across the ground. But a group of snakes called Chrysopelea use similar movements to help them sustain flight. These one-metre-long snakes use their signature "S" shape to swim through the air, as they glide down from the tree-tops in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. But that's not all. Dr. Jake Socha, an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering, Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech University, has found that these snakes change their body shape while in the air, in order to increase aerodynamics. By moving their ribs forward and closer to their spine, the snake's body flattens to allow it to slice through the air. This same reconfiguration creates a concave trough along its underbelly to help maintain loft.

  • 2014
  • 00:08:38
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/10/2014
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Snakes [LCSH] Animal behavior [LCSH] Science [LCSH] Biology [LCSH]
Bob McDonald (Host), Jim Handman (Producer), Jim Lebans (Producer), Emily Chung (Producer), Mark Crawley (Producer)
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