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    Swifts ride air currents to catch a free lunch

    Once an adult swift (Apus apus) leaves its breeding colony and takes to the air migrating south, it won’t touch down again until returning home to nest 10 months later. “Common swifts are exceptional in their level of adaptation to aerial life,” says Emmanuel de Margerie, a biologist from the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) at the University of Rennes, France, adding, “Foraging, sleeping, preening and all other daily activities are performed in mid-air, day after day, week after week.” So, when de Margerie decided to learn how the expert aviators manoeuvre in their aerial domain, he contacted biomechanist Tyson Hedrick from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, who snapped up the opportunity. “Their basic flight capabilities have been well studied in wind tunnel experiments,” says Hedrick. However, birds in wind tunnels never share the sky with others or contend with unexpected gusts of wind. de Margerie had filmed swifts soaring and swerving while foraging to feed their chicks and the movies provided the ideal opportunity to find out how much exertion it takes to keep an acrobatic swift on the wing in real life. They publish their discovery that swifts essentially hitchhike on rising currents to make their flight costs almost zero in Journal of Experimental Biology. …read more

    Source:: Physorg Latest

          

    Intelligent sprayers poised to transform nursery industry

    Producers of landscape trees, shrubs, vines and perennials, all of which are known as nursery crops, are poised to adopt an industry-wide change that will benefit all of society. Researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture are among the agricultural scientists to help test a newly developed technology that will allow producers to use significantly reduced amounts of pesticides to produce their crops. …read more

    Source:: Physorg Latest

          

    Digital offense: Anonymity dulls our moral outrage

    From online forums to community groups, research and experience shows people are more willing to insult and use menacing language online than in person, especially when there’s the protection of anonymity behind a computer. New research appearing in Social Psychological and Personality Science indicates that people react less strongly to malicious speech on digital platforms and see the victims as less “harmed” than if the words were said directly to a person. …read more

    Source:: Physorg Latest

          

    Satellite finds Tropical Cyclone Bouchra reborn in Southern Indian Ocean

    Tropical Cyclone 04S, known as Bouchra formed in the Southern Indian Ocean during the week of Nov. 12 and by the end of the week it had become a remnant low pressure area. Over the weekend of Nov. 17 and 18 it regenerated into a tropical cyclone and the NOAA-20 satellite passed overhead and captured a visible image of the storm. …read more

    Source:: Physorg Latest

          

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