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article imageAmazing video captures insects in flight

By Tim Sandle     Mar 29, 2014 in Science
Lund - Using a new approach, researchers have capture the internal mechanics of a flying fly. The video gives a view into the inner workings of the flight muscles as a tethered fly is spun in a circle.
A research team have developed a technique to see inside the muscles of a blowfly in flight. The flies were tethered, but moving their wings, as X-ray microtomatography captured the internal mechanics of how their steering muscles operate.
Graham Taylor of Oxford University, who led the work, told PLOS Biologue "This has been an awe-inspiring project on so many levels, not least the exquisite complexity of the insects themselves, but seeing the 3-D movies render for the first time was one of those breakthrough moments that as a scientist I’ll never forget."
Anders Hedenström of Lund University in Sweden has written in PLOS Biology of the insect in the video "This by itself is a grand achievement at a wingbeat frequency of 145 Hz".
The video is very revealing. It shows that the fly can divert power into a steering muscle specialized to absorb mechanical energy. Furthermore, the fly beats so fast that there are 50 wingbeats in the time it takes for a human to blink.
More about Video, Insects, 3d, Images, Flight
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