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September 29 2012

Hummingbirds make flying backward look easy


Animals that move backwards usually require a lot of energy, so Nir Sapir from the University of California Berkeley, USA, was surprised when he realized that hummingbirds execute this maneuver routinely. Wondering how hummingbirds perform the feat, he analyzed their flight and the amount of oxygen they consume and found that reversing is much cheaper than hovering flight and no more costly than flying forward.

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