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During flight, many insect wings undergo dramatic deformations that are controlled largely by the architecture of the wing. The pattern of supporting veins in wings varies widely among insect orders and families, but the functional significance of phylogenetic trends in wing venation remains unknown, and measurements of the mechanical properties of wings(More)
Flying insects have evolved sophisticated sensory capabilities to achieve rapid course control during aerial maneuvers. Among two-winged insects such as houseflies and their relatives, the hind wings are modified into club-shaped, mechanosensory halteres, which detect Coriolis forces and thereby mediate flight stability during maneuvers. Here, we show that(More)
During flapping flight, insect wings must withstand not only fluid-dynamic forces, but also inertial-elastic forces generated by the rapid acceleration and deceleration of their own mass. Estimates of overall aerodynamic and inertial forces vary widely, and the relative importance of these forces in determining passive wing deformations remains unknown. If(More)
Moving animals orchestrate myriad motor systems in response to multimodal sensory inputs. Coordinating movement is particularly challenging in flight control, where animals deal with potential instability and multiple degrees of freedom of movement. Prior studies have focused on wings as the primary flight control structures, for which changes in angle of(More)
Dipteran flight requires rapid acquisition of mechanosensory information provided by modified hindwings known as halteres. Halteres experience torques resulting from Coriolis forces that arise during body rotations. Although biomechanical and behavioral data indicate that halteres detect Coriolis forces, there are scant data regarding neural encoding of(More)
The presence of compliance in the lattice of filaments in muscle raises a number of concerns about how one accounts for force generation in the context of the cross-bridge cycle--binding site motions and coupling between cross-bridges confound more traditional analyses. To explore these issues, we developed a spatially explicit, mechanochemical model of(More)
To explore the mechanical determinants of feeding strategies for nectar feeders, we develop a fluid dynamical and behavioral model describing the mechanics and energetics of capillary feeding in hummingbirds. Behavioral and morphological data for Calypte and Archilochus are used to test and illustrate this model. We emphasize the important differences(More)
The dynamic, three-dimensional shape of flapping insect wings may influence many aspects of flight performance. Insect wing deformations during flight are largely passive, and are controlled primarily by the architecture and material properties of the wing. Although many details of wing structure are well understood, the distribution of flexural stiffness(More)
The halteres of dipteran insects are essential sensory organs for flight control. They are believed to detect Coriolis and other inertial forces associated with body rotation during flight. Flies use this information for rapid flight control. We show that the primary afferent neurons of the haltere's mechanoreceptors respond selectively with high temporal(More)