Scientists have figured out how tree snakes could fly through the air

All members of the genus Chrysopelea snakes have an innate ability to move through the air, but only Chrysopelea paradisi, or the Paradise decorated with snake fully mastered the art of flight. This ability to manage their planning allows them to quickly and accurately navigate over long distances. Scientists have found that these snakes don’t have any extra bodies, only perfected by the evolution of the reflexes of the body.




Jack Socha, a Professor from the Polytechnic University of Virginia, together with his colleague Isaac Jitona created the first accurate three-dimensional model of the behavior of snakes Chrysopelea flying. To do this, they conducted numerous experiments with more than a hundred specimens, the flights which were recorded by high speed cameras. They also used motion capture technology, causing the snakes special markers, plus the were filming in the infrared range, to analyze the work of the muscles of reptiles.

In the end, SOCA and Iiton came to the conclusion that at the beginning of the flying snake flattens its body, turning it into a sort of flat wing. In flight she constantly squirms, pursuing two objectives. First, it is a simple way to avoid tipping over under the action of air resistance. Second, the writhing, the snake adjusts the range and offset vertically. That is, it actually operates the flight, and not just planning to the wind.


Source — Nature Physics