- News Home
6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- About Us
ScienceShot: 'Cluster Flocking' Is No Energy Saver
22 June 2011 1:44 pm
When birds take to the air in a large group, they typically either fly in a V-formation or in a swarmlike cluster. Both have their benefits: the V-shape is aerodynamically efficient, saving geese and other birds energy during flight, while cluster flocking can help birds like pigeons guard against predators. But the cluster has one big disadvantage, according to a study published online today in Nature. When researchers followed 18 pigeons with GPS, they found that the birds gained neither an aerodynamic advantage nor added energy efficiency when flying in a cluster. In fact, the team believes that it takes pigeons more energy to fly in a flock than to fly solo. So why do they do it? In addition to predator protection, the researchers speculate that cluster flocking may help the birds navigate; a follow-the-crowd mentality.
See more ScienceShots.