Albatrosses



Albatrosses

Migratory birds minimise energy consumption by using different "flight techniques". Albatrosses are also observed to have such a flight style. These birds, which spend 92% of their lives on the sea, have wing spans of up to 3,5 meters. The most important characteristic of albatrosses is their flight style: they can fly for hours without beating their wings at all. To do so, they glide along in the air keeping their wings constant by making use of the wind.

It requires a great deal of energy to keep wings with a wing span of 3.5 meters constantly open. Albatrosses, however, can stay in this position for hours. This is due to the special anatomical system they are bestowed with from the moment of their birth. During flight, the wings of the albatross are blocked. Therefore, it does not need to use any muscular power. Wings are lifted only by muscle layers. This greatly helps the bird during its flight. This system reduces the energy consumed by the bird during flight. The albatross does not use energy because it does not beat its wings or waste energy to keep its wings outstretched. Flying for hours by making exclusive use of wind provides an unlimited energy source for it. For instance, a 10-kilo-albatross loses only 1% of its body weight while it travels for 1,000 kms. This is indeed a very small rate. Men have manufactured gliders taking albatrosses as a model and by making use of their fascinating flight technique.

Next : An Arduous Migration      


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