Tag: flying

Anna's hummingbird outflies falcons and fighter pilots

By Ed Yong | June 9, 2009 8:23 pm

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchMany animals use impressive displays to seduce a mate, but few go as far as the male Anna’s hummingbird. He performs a death-defying courtship dive, plummeting to the ground at speeds and accelerations that put jet fighters to shame.

Annas_hummingbird.jpgThe tiny 7cm bird reaches a top speed of 60mph and at the fastest point of the dive, it covers 385 times its own body length every second. For its size, it’s the fastest aerial manoeuvre performed by any bird. In contrast, the famous attack dive of the peregrine falcon, while much faster in absolute terms, only covers 200 body lengths per second.

The hummingbird can even fly relatively faster than a jet fighter with afterburners ablaze, which only reaches 150 body lengths per second, or a space shuttle re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, which covers just 207 body lengths per second.

Read More

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Not Exactly Rocket Science

Dive into the awe-inspiring, beautiful and quirky world of science news with award-winning writer Ed Yong. No previous experience required.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »