Avian Flight - Oxford Ornithology Series (Hardback)
  • Avian Flight - Oxford Ornithology Series (Hardback)
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Avian Flight - Oxford Ornithology Series (Hardback)

(author)
£110.00
Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 23/06/2005
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Bird flight has always intrigued mankind. This book provides an up-to-date account of our existing knowledge on the subject, offering new insights and challenging some established views. A brief history of the science of flight introduces the basic physical principles governing aerial locomotion. This is followed by a treatment of flight-related functional morphology, concentrating on the difference in shape of the arm and hand part of the wings, on the structure and function of tails, and on the shape of the body. The anatomy and mechanical properties of feathers receive special attention. Aerodynamic principles used by birds are explained in theory by simply applying Newton's laws, and in practice by showing the direction and velocity of the attached flow around an arm wing cross section and of the leading edge vortex flow above a hand wing. The Archaeopteryx fossils remain crucial in our understanding of the evolution of bird flight despite the recent discovery of a range of well-preserved ancient birds. Avian Flight offers a novel insight into the interactions between wings and air which challenges established theories relating to the origin of bird flight. Take-off, flapping flight, gliding and landing are the basic ingredients of bird flight, and birds use a variety of flight styles from hovering to soaring. Flight muscles are the engines that generate the force required to keep the wings and tail in the gliding configuration and perform work during flapping motion. The energy required to fly can be estimated or measured directly, and a comparison of the empirical results provides insights into the trend in metabolic costs of flight of birds varying in shape and mass from hummingbirds to albatrosses. The book will be of interest to biologists, ornithologists, and bird watchers. It will also be of relevance and use to physicists, mathematicians, and engineers involved with aerodynamics.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198566038
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 627 g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
It will provide much food for thought for those of us who combine an interest in fluid mechanics with an interest in birds: in particular, the idea that simple explanations from conventional aerodynamics may not provide the whole story where bird flight is concerned. * Paul W. Hammerton, Journal of Fluid Mehanics, Vol 559, 2006 *
The strength of the book is its comprehensive coverage of the field...Videler tells us about old work that is still enlightening as well as about the newest and most fashionable research. * Ethology, 2006 *
Videler is an enthusiast in every sense of the word, and this is a book for enthsiasts...a key achievement of Videler's book, in reviewing the current state of our knowledge, is to reveal how many lacunae remain. * Ibis *
...the book is lucidly written, with clear explanations * British Birds, Vol 99 *
Regardless, the book does a splendid job of conveying the reasons for the author's entusiasm for studying avian flight...the book will serve as an excellent foundation for seminars for advanced undergraduates or graduates and as an essential motivational tool for all avian biologists. * JEB, Bret W. Tobalske, University of Portland *
'If Avian Flight serves to promote new research in these areas and to instil something of its own enthusiasm in a new generation of researchers, then it will, I think, have achieved its aim.' * British Ornithologists' Union *

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