Document Detail

Energy saving in flight formation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11607019     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Many species of large bird fly together in formation, perhaps because flight power demands and energy expenditure can be reduced when the birds fly at an optimal spacing, or because orientation is improved by communication within groups. We have measured heart rates as an estimate of energy expenditure in imprinted great white pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) trained to fly in 'V' formation, and show that these birds save a significant amount of energy by flying in formation. This advantage is probably a principal reason for the evolution of flight formation in large birds that migrate in groups.
H Weimerskirch; J Martin; Y Clerquin; P Alexandre; S Jiraskova
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  413     ISSN:  0028-0836     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2001 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-10-18     Completed Date:  2001-12-05     Revised Date:  2003-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  697-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 79360 Villiers en Bois, France.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal
Birds / physiology*
Energy Metabolism
Flight, Animal / physiology*
Heart Rate
Comment In:
Nature. 2001 Oct 18;413(6857):685-6   [PMID:  11607009 ]

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