Flies Continue to Astonish

Flies Continue to Astonish

Haya Muhammad Eid

Article translated to : العربية
Flies Continue to Astonish

“The brain of the fly performs a very sophisticated calculation, in a very short amount of time, to determine where the danger lies and exactly how to bank for the best escape, doing something different if the threat is to the side, straight ahead or behind.”

“How can such a small brain generate so many remarkable behaviors? A fly with a brain the size of a salt grain has the behavioral repertoire nearly as complex as a much larger animal such as a mouse. That’s a super interesting problem from an engineering perspective.” – University of Washington professor of biology, Michael Dickinson.
“A thousandth of a gram of nerve cells packed into a cubic millimeter of space: that pretty much sums up the brain of a fly – on the surface, anyway. Yet it’s an amazing organ. In fractions of a second, it translates optical information into steering commands, enabling flies to perform aerial acrobatics.” – Neurobiologist Alexander Borst.
“These flies normally flap their wings 200 times a second and, in almost a single wing beat, the animal can re-orient its body to generate a force away from the threatening stimulus and then continue to accelerate.” – Florian Muijres.

Fruit Flies Outdo Fighter Jets

Research shows fruit flies’ mid-air maneuvers are ‘faster than ever imagined’, changing direction 50 times quicker than the blink of an eye.

“Insects are bewilderingly diverse with respect to flight morphology and behaviors, which in turn provides a real challenge to researchers wishing to understand how insects fly. In particular, the impressive flight maneuvers in flies, such as blowflies and fruit flies, have inspired scientists for many years. The ability of a fly to accelerate, make tight turns, rolls, and loops that allow the creature to land upside down on a ceiling is unparalleled in any other organisms, as well as any manmade aircraft. Everybody knows how difficult it is to swat a fly with bare hands—the fly's capacity for rapid take-off and accurate movement away from a perceived approaching threat is exquisite.” How Insect Flight Steering Muscles Work – Biologist Anders Hedenstrom of Lund University. 

“See you not that God sends down water (rain) from the sky and causes it to flow as springs out of the earth, and afterward thereby produces crops of different colors; and afterward they dry and wither and you see them turn yellow; then He turns them into (scattered) debris. Verily, in this, is a reminder for people of understanding.”

(Qur’an 39:21)

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