flying insects

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rosalin
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flying insects

Post by rosalin » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:27 pm

was just wondering why a number of flying insects (honey bees, bumble bees) do not have perfectly streamlined bodies...
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Re: flying insects

Post by skeptic » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:55 pm

The need for streamlining is a function of speed. If an insect flies slowly, wind resistance is a minimal factor, and other needs take precedent.

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Re: flying insects

Post by rosalin » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:49 pm

could it also have something to do with size ? the smaller the size, the lesser the air 'drag'...
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Post by skeptic » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:02 pm

To rosalin.

Yes.

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Post by JackBean » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:12 am

With size and also with enviroment for sure. In water (I know, you asked about insect, but let's switch to animals;), there is higher need to have streamlined body, because you need more power/energy to move in it ;) On the other hand, air is like nothing, so when you add the slow speed...
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Post by rosalin » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:33 pm

could you find something that talks about this in detail ? i have to submit a 300 word essay on this. have been searching for more than a week now, but i can't find anything that talks specifically about insects without a streamlined body shape... (and i've hardly handled any physics, even in highschool.)
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Re: flying insects

Post by skeptic » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:42 pm

It is not hard to find material through google. Just search under key words such as insect flight streamlining etc. I found a number of references immediately
eg. http://www.innovations-report.com/html/ ... 40109.html

Also might be useful to look at nanotech for comparison. This is because the principles of flight change dramatically with decrease in size. It is not possible to treat an insect body as if it were an aircraft. Air movement about the insect is totally different, and the various vortices that form have a substantially different effect on an object that size, compared to something larger.

At nano sizes, the differences are even more dramatic, as explained in http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/13698/
This is not about insect flight, but can be used to illustrate the way size changes things.

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Post by rosalin » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:30 pm

hey.. thanks. those links were really useful.
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