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Flying snake flight: an overview of gliding and maneuvering

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Published on Feb 26, 2012

Sequence 1 (gliding flight): Sample snake trajectory illustrating body and tail movement during gliding. The camera was located on the ground in front of the takeoff tower. Here, the snake's trajectory was directed toward the camera, with the snake passing overhead at the end of the sequence as the cameraman (West Ashton) follows along.

Sequence 2 (side view): Sample snake trajectory showing different portions of glide trajectory, from takeoff to accelerating descent to shallowing glide. This movie was recorded as a supplement to four cameras used for the trajectory analyses, intended to show the snake's changing body posture. The camera was stationary on the ground and was panned with the snake through most of its glide. The marking bands can be seen on the snake's dorsal surface.

Sequence 3 (maneuver). Sample snake trajectory illustrating a maneuver. The snake begins the trajectory moving diagonally away from the launch tower, and at the end of the sequence turns toward its left.

Video from Socha et al., 2010 Bioinspiration and Biomimetics
Video copyright National Geographic Television; do not reproduce without permission.
Research by Dr. Jake Socha, Virginia Tech

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