At least the Common Swift hush has one criminal record to its name. What do you have ? photograph : Drakuliren/iStock
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The Common Swift has formally lost its crown as the fastest-flying animal in the flip. So who took the title ? The Peregrine Falcon ? A frigatebird ? possibly the grey Albatross ? none of the above. The answer might surprise you, because according to the latest research, the fastest circular in the animal kingdom is n’t a boo at all. It’s a bat .
But first, some background : The Peregrine Falcon is indisputably the fastest animal in the flip. It has been measured at speeds above 83.3 m/s ( 186 miles per hour ), but only when crouch, or diving. So for many years, it was normally held by scientists that the fastest-flying bird in level flight was the White-throated Needletail ( once known as the Spine-tailed Swift ), which could purportedly reach speeds of up to 47m/s ( 105 miles per hour ). That number, however, had never been scientifically rise.
It turns out that measuring the accelerate of animals in flight is actually reasonably unmanageable, and it wasn ’ thyroxine until 2009 that a inquiry team from Lund University in Sweden used high-speed cameras to scientifically measure what they believed to be the fastest flier on the planet, the Common Swift. At a scientifically confirmable 31m/s ( 69 miles per hour ), achieved during mating flights ( besides known as “ screaming parties ” ), the swift was named the fastest pair of wings in the world. It held that title for seven years, but early this calendar month scientists published a paper crowning a newly fastest aviator : the brazilian free-tailed cream.
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The accepted knowledge about bats in flight is that because of a lower mass-to-wing-area ratio and a less aerodynamic body shape, they are slower but more maneuverable fliers than birds. Like the speed of the White-throated Needletail, this was one of those “facts” that had never actually been verified. By using a small airplane, tricky piloting, and some clever triangulation to follow bats tagged with radio transmitters, a research team was able to measure female bats flying at almost 45 m/s (99.5 mph), which is almost 50 percent faster than the Common Swift’s record. This was a surprising result for everyone, including the scientists performing the study, and we can likely expect to hear about a lot more research into bat flight characteristics in the near future.
swift fans ( not this kind ) disappointed at the dethrone of their champion can take solace in the fact that the Common Swift still holds the read for longest continuous escape. There is no indication that bats are anywhere near to taking that commemorate from them anytime soon .
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.