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Re: Altitude effects on hummingbird flight?

----- Original Message ----- From: "Guy Leahy" <xrciseguy@sbcglobal.net>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Cc: <jrccea@bellsouth.net>
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006 12:24 AM
Subject: Altitude effects on hummingbird flight?

Thin Andean air requires larger wings and fuller

A question... why would this be so?  Does this mean
that above a certain altitude, hummingbird flight
mechanics might not work?

For hovering flight, yes. Limits on forward flight are not as severe, but do still exist. Flapping amplitude and frequency would be the probable limitations.

page 123 the largest species of hummingbird is known
to occur at altitudes above 15,700 feet in the Andes,
so it would seem that any altitude constraints on
hummingbird flight mechanics are small.