Books  Animal & General Biology  Animals: Behaviour 

Nature's Flyers: Birds, Insects, and the Biomechanics of Flight

By: David E Alexander

358 pages, B/w illus, figs, tabs

Johns Hopkins University Press

Paperback | Nov 2004 | #148875 | ISBN: 0801880599
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.50 $41/€33 approx
Hardback | Mar 2002 | #127540 | ISBN: 0801867568
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £46.50 $65/€53 approx

About this book

Explains the physical basis of flight with clear text and illustrations. Drawing upon bats, birds, insects, pterosaurs, and even winged seeds, Alexander details the basic operating principles of wings and then moves progressively through more complex modes of animal flight, including gliding, flapping, and maneuvering. In addition to summarizing the latest thinking about flight's energy costs, the book presents a holistic view of flight and its ramifications as it explores the ecology and evolution of flying animals, addressing behaviorally important topics such as migration and navigation.

Scientifically accurate, up-to-date, and highly accessible, Nature's Flyers will interest not only amateur and professional ornithologists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, physiologists, and engineers, but also anyone who is curious about the effects of flight on the evolution and diversity of the natural world. - Biology Digest; "Alexander achieves the difficult feat of explaining intrinsically complex phenomena without using mathematical or entomological jargon. As a result, the book is clear, beautifully written, and suitable for people at all levels... It introduces readers to some long-standing puzzles... How do some insects manage to fly nonstop over hundreds of miles? How do migrating birds find their way?... I recommend the book to anyone who is curious about flight." - Physics Today"


Contents: Foreword, by Steven Vogel Preface ONE - Introduction TWO - How Wings Work THREE - Gliding and Soaring FOUR - Flapping and Hovering FIVE - Staying on Course and Changing Direction SIX - Fueling Flight SEVEN - Evolving Flyers EIGHT - Migrating NINE - Finding the Way TEN - The Global Impact of Animal Flight ELEVEN - Have the Birds and Bees Taught Us Anything Useful? Notes Glossary Bibliography Index

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David E. Alexander is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Kansas.

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