General, Research, Technology

These birds can fly for hours without flapping their wings.

On the territory of South America you can find someof the largest and heaviest birds on our planet - the Andean condors (Vultur gryphus). These black and white creatures were known even to our distant ancestors, as evidenced by the drawings on the walls of various caves. The wingspan of huge condors reaches 3.1 meters, and the body weight of some individuals is 16 kilograms. Fortunately, these carrion-eating birds are not considered endangered, but scientists still gave them the status "Close to a vulnerable position"... The study of these unusual creatures is already underwayFor many years, and only recently, researchers were able to make a very interesting discovery - it turns out that Andean condors can fly hundreds of kilometers with just one flap of their wings. But how is this possible?

Male condors have a fleshy crimson crest on their heads and folds on the neck.

Close to a vulnerable position Is one of the categories of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are not currently in a vulnerable position, but may become so in the foreseeable future.

Largest bird

About huge birds and their unusual abilitieswas reported in the scientific journal Science Alert. Ornithologists from the University of Swansea (Great Britain) began to study these creatures. They attached special devices to the bodies of eight Andean condors to count the number of flaps of wings during flight. As part of the scientific work, the researchers collected data for 230 hours of flight - they had enough information. Having studied the collected material, they made a very unexpected discovery for themselves.

Paraglider and paraglider

One of the studied Andean condors spent inthe sky is about five o'clock and at the same time he practically did not flap his wings. Thus, on air currents alone, he covered about 170 kilometers. If these birds had access to weather forecasts as paragliders and knew the best time to fly, they could probably spend a whole day or more in the sky.

Did you know that birds are able to see colors that we cannot even imagine?

Save bird energy

That these huge birds are trying as hard as possibleflapping wings less often is quite logical. The fact is that their bodies are too heavy and a lot of energy must be involved in order to lift them into the air. For comparison, hummingbirds weighing up to 12 grams flap their wings about 80 times per second. And it doesn't take a lot of energy from her, because it doesn't take much strength to lift such a tiny and light body.

Some hummingbirds can weigh 1 to 2 grams.

The ability to conserve energy during flightother large birds - albatrosses - also have. Their wingspan is even larger than that of the Andean condors and is about 370 centimeters. Only now they weigh a little less - about 11 kilograms. Perhaps this is why they can afford great control in flight, thanks to the majestic flapping of the wings. According to scientists, albatrosses spend 1.2 to 14.5% of the total flight time on flapping their wings.

Albatrosses are considered one of the largest birds in the world.

According to bird flight expert DavidLentinka (David Lentink), the fact that condors hardly flap their wings during flight is amazing. It is believed that such discoveries about the methods of flight of huge birds of our time will help to understand how their huge ancestors flew millions of years ago. For example, scientists have always wondered how the extinct Argentavis magnificens flew, whose bodies could weigh about 72 kilograms.

Comparison of body sizes of condor, argentavis and humans

While scientists are researching hugebirds, I suggest you read about no less interesting feathered creatures. Last year I wrote an article about the endangered kakapo parrot (Strigops habroptila) and the kiwi bird (Apteryx). In my opinion, it turned out to be very interesting material, while writing which I myself learned a lot. Enjoy reading!