Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2014
04 December 2014 - 1pm - Zoology Museum (Wallace 129)
The energy in the air:
How aerial currents affect movement paths, costs and interactions in soaring birds
|Photo: Markus Unsöld / Waldrappteam|
Understanding how species respond to the physical characteristics of their environments remains a key theme in ecology. But air has arrived late to this particular party. Only recently has it been suggested that the aerial environment should be recognised as 'habitat' at all, and quantifying or visualising the movements of the air remains challenging.
Nonetheless, the dynamic nature of the air has important consequences for animals moving through it. I will discuss how air currents affect flight costs, and the strategies that some birds use to compensate for or benefit from this variability. In particular I will focus on two groups of birds with questionable morals when it comes to feeding: vultures and gulls.
Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!