UFO Shaped Flying Paradise Snake

Geo Beats
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One of the five flying tree snakes that live in Southeast Asia, known as the Paradise tree snake, can jump and glide through the air by moving its body into a flying saucer shape. Researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University studying the movement of the snakes found that their method of jumping and gliding from branch to branch is more effective than other gliding animals like flying squirrels, or lizards.

One of the five species of Southeast Asian flying tree snakes, known as the Paradise tree snake, can jump and glide through the air by manipulating its body into a flying saucer shape.

Researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University studying the movement of the snakes found that their method of jumping and gliding from branch to branch is more effective than other gliding animals like flying squirrels, or lizards.

The snakes first flatten their bodies then undulate in the air similar to how they move when they’re swimming.

Jake Socha, co-author of the study and biomechanics researcher at Virginia Tech is quoted as saying: “The shape is unusual. You never find this kind of shape in any other animal flier; you don't find it in engineered fliers.”

For the study, researchers made a 2 dimensional model of a flattened mid-body slice of the snake and measured the movement of flowing water around the model, which is comparable to the flow of air around an object.

The movement and shape of their body works to give the snake maximum lift when gliding through the air.

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