Thursday, April 15, 2021

How Flying Snake actually Flies - Science Loop

Science Loop on Youtube explains how the Flying Snake hunts by flying through the air from forest treetops. (Hint: It's not a Airplane)

Flying snakes seems to successfully glide through the air, flattening their bodies to provide lift. However, as they glide they seem to swim, undulating their bodies from side to side. Now a team in the United States has used motion capture technology to study snake gliding in precise detail. Wild Science Episodes are pretty interesting to watch.

Definition of "Undulation" (wavelike motion)


the action of moving smoothly up and down.
"the soft undulation of the waves animates the scene"

a smoothly rising and falling form, outline, or movement.
"the road follows the undulations of the countryside"

Chrysopelea (more commonly known as the flying snake or gliding snake) is a genus that belongs to the family Colubridae. Flying snakes are mildly venomous, though the so-called venom is dangerous only to their small prey. Their range is in Southeast Asia (the mainland (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos), Greater and Lesser Sundas, Maluku, and the Philippines), southernmost China, India, and Sri Lanka.

The amazing snake climbs using ridge scales along its belly. The snake is pushing against rough bark surface of tree trunks, allowing it to move vertically up a tree. Upon reaching the end of a branch, the snake continues moving until its tail dangles from the end of the branch. It then makes a J-shape bend, leans forward to select the level of inclination it wishes to use to control its glide path, as well as selecting a desired landing area. Once the snake decides on a destination, it propels itself by thrusting its body up and away from the tree, sucking in its abdomen and flaring out its ribs to turn its body into a "pseudo concave wing", all the while making a continual serpentine motion of lateral undulation parallel to the ground to stabilise its direction in midair in order to land successfully safely.

Definition of "serpentine"

1: of or resembling a serpent (as in form or movement)
2: subtly wily or tempting
3: winding or turning one way and another (Example: a serpentine road)
4: having a compound curve whose central curve is convex

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