David E. Alexander's fascination with the many animals and plants that have harnessed the air is evident in Nature's Flyers: Birds, Insects, and the Biomechanics of Flight, a detailed account of our current scientific understanding of the primary aspects of flight in nature.
Instead of relying on elaborate mathematical equations, Alexander explains the physical basis of flight with sharp prose and clear diagrams. Drawing upon bats, birds, insects, pterosaurs, and even winged seeds, he details the basic operating principles of wings and then moves progressively through more complex modes of animal flight, including gliding, flapping, and maneuvering. In addition to summarizing the latest thinking about flight's energy costs, Alexander presents a holistic view of flight and its ramifications as he explores the ecology and evolution of flying animals, addressing behaviorally important topics such as migration and navigation. With somewhat surprising answers, the author then concludes his study by examining the extent to which natural flight has been inspiring or instructive for the architects of human flightairplane designers and engineers.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.15(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
David E. Alexander is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Kansas.
Table of Contents
Foreword, by Steven Vogel
ONE - Introduction
TWO - How Wings Work
THREE - Gliding and Soaring
FOUR - Flapping and Hovering
FIVE - Staying on Course and Changing Direction
SIX - Fueling Flight
SEVEN - Evolving Flyers
EIGHT - Migrating
NINE - Finding the Way
TEN - The Global Impact of Animal Flight
ELEVEN - Have the Birds and Bees Taught Us Anything Useful?
What People are Saying About This
"This book provides a useful popular-level treatment of animal flight, covering not just biomechanical but also ecological and evolutionary aspects of aerial locomotion... No comparable treatment of flight exists in the literature."