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The Flight of the Bumblebee (was Re: Re[Re:Sauropod Neck])



bruceshillinglaw@netzero.net claimed:

> And an aerodynamic study of bumblebees determined that they can't
> fly.

When saying something so absurd it's probably best to cite a
reference.  I attack this here because I consider the above to be
basically an anti-scientific statement.  I invite you to look at:

http://www.kav.cas.cz/~buble/text/en/TheStrangeCaseOfBumbleBeeWhichFlew.html

for an amplification of both that sentiment and the information Brian
McCarthy provided.

And for more information on contemporary modeling (both physical and
mathematical) of insect wing dynamics you might want to look at this
popularization:

http://unisci.com/stories/19992/0618994.htm

The short version, of course, is that nobody ever really concluded
that "bumblebees can't fly".  They merely concluded that they couldn't
explain bumblebee flight by thinking of bees as little airplanes.  Put
another way, bumblebees cannot glide, and we could show that with
equations before anybody ever tried to demonstrate it with a real
bee.

-- 
Mickey Rowe     (rowe@psych.ucsb.edu)