Kinematics: Gliding flight in the paradise tree snake

  title={Kinematics: Gliding flight in the paradise tree snake},
  author={John J. Socha},
  • J. Socha
  • Published 8 August 2002
  • Biology
  • Nature
Most vertebrate gliders, such as flying squirrels, use symmetrically paired 'wings' to generate lift during flight, but flying snakes (genus Chrysopelea) have no such appendages or other obvious morphological specializations to assist them in their aerial movements. Here I describe the three-dimensional kinematics of gliding by the paradise tree snake, Chrysopelea paradisi, which indicate that the aerial behaviour of this snake is unlike that of any other glider and that it can exert remarkable… 

Gliding flight in Chrysopelea: turning a snake into a wing.

  • J. Socha
  • Engineering
    Integrative and comparative biology
  • 2011
Future work aims to understand the mechanisms of production and control of force in takeoff, gliding, and landing, and to identify the musculoskeletal adaptations that enable this unique form of locomotion.

How animals glide: from trajectory to morphology1

This review focuses on the physical aspect of how gliders produce and control their flight from takeoff to landing, and some species are unspecialized for gliding, producing aerodynamic forces using posture and orientation alone.

Undulation enables gliding in flying snakes

When flying snakes glide, they use aerial undulation. To determine if aerial undulation is a flight control strategy or a non-functional behavioural vestige of lateral undulation, we measured snake

How animals glide: from trajectory to morphology

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Physical mechanisms of control of gliding in flying snakes

Flying snakes possess a sophisticated gliding ability with a unique aerial behavior, in which they flatten their body to make a roughly triangular cross-sectional shape to produce lift and gain

Gliding and the Functional Origins of Flight: Biomechanical Novelty or Necessity?

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A 3-D kinematic analysis of gliding in a flying snake, Chrysopelea paradisi

Photogrammetric techniques were used to investigate C. paradisi's aerial trajectory in three dimensions to investigate flying snake species (Chrysopelea) locomote through the air despite a lack of appendages or any obvious external morphological specialization for flight.

Tail control enhances gliding in arboreallizards: an integrative study using a 3D geometric model and numerical simulation.

This work developed a simplified, three-dimensional simulation for Draco gliding, calculating longitudinal and lateral position and pitch angle of the lizard with respect to a cartesian coordinate frame and used PID control to model the lizards' tail adjustment to maintain an angle of attack.

Lift and wakes of flying snakes

Flying snakes use a unique method of aerial locomotion: they jump from tree branches, flatten their bodies, and undulate through the air to produce a glide. The shape of their body cross-section

Aerodynamics of the flying snake Chrysopelea paradisi: how a bluff body cross-sectional shape contributes to gliding performance

Overall, the cross-sectional geometry of the flying snake demonstrated robust aerodynamic behavior by maintaining significant lift production and near-maximum lift-to-drag ratios over a wide range of parameters.




Comparison of relative performance between a model frog with a generalized nonflying morphology and limb position and a model frogs with flying morphology and limbs position reveals that the morphological and positional features associated with “flying” actually decrease horizontal traveling distance but improve maneuverability, suggesting that maneuverability rather than horizontal travel may be the key performance parameter in the evolution of “ flying” frogs.

Phylogenetic Systematics, Scaling Relationships, and the Evolution of Gliding Performance in Flying Lizards (genus Draco)

  • 1998

Biona Report 5, Bat flight – Fledermausflug (ed

  • 1986