The concept of energy height in animal locomotion: separating mechanics from physiology.

@article{Pennycuick2003TheCO,
  title={The concept of energy height in animal locomotion: separating mechanics from physiology.},
  author={C. J. Pennycuick},
  journal={Journal of theoretical biology},
  year={2003},
  volume={224 2},
  pages={189-203}
}
The distance flown in gliding is proportional to the starting height, not to the starting potential energy, and it is independent of the body mass. By analogy, in powered flight, the quantity of stored fuel can be converted into a virtual "fuel energy height", defined as the height to which the fuel energy could lift the bird against gravity, if it were converted into work. This is a logarithmic function of the fuel fraction, not of the absolute amount of fuel, or of the body mass. It takes… CONTINUE READING

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