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Thursday, November 3, 2016

The world's most tough birds

The common swift (Apus apus) as arguably the most tough birds in the air. The species was able to fly 10 months without once landed. In the research results from Andres Hedenstrom, a sweden researcher of the Lund University, and published in the Current Biology journal on Thursday, October 27, 2016 is evidence of the bird toughness.
Common swift (Apus apus) can fly for 10 months straight without landing. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1fJmyW)
Previously, a British researcher named Ron Lockey, in the 1970s have suspected that the common swift has an incredible flying ability. However, Hedenstrom-was the first to prove it. Hedenstrom and his colleagues put a mini monitors movement device in the back of a number of common swift. The device is very light, only 1 gram, so the birds do not feel carrying the load.

Of the monitoring results data reveal, in a year, the common swift able to fly up to 10 months non-stop and just be full on the mainland for two months. "This discovery broke the limitations of our knowledge about the animal physiology," said Hedenstrom. "10 months is the longest flying time on the birds, this is a record," he said as quoted by Science Alert on Friday, October 28, 2016.

The flying ability of the common swift Apus apus defeats another kind of swift, Tachymarptis melba, which can fly nonstop up to 6 months. Both Apus Apus and Tachymarptis melba traveled millions of kilometers during his life that an average of only 5.5 years. They could fly from Europe to Africa at the turn of the season.
After revealing the toughness of common swift, Hedenstrom not satisfied. He wondered how the common swift can last for a long time in the air and whether the bird did not sleep at all for 10 months. "Every day, at dawn and dusk, the common swift rises to a height of 2-3 kilometers. Maybe they were sleeping when dropped from a height, but we're not sure," he said. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCE ALERT]
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