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The Biomechanics of Insect Flight


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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix SYMBOLS xi CHAPTER ONE Flight and the Pterygote Insecta 3 1.1 Insect Diversity 5 1.2 Basic Aerodynamics 15 1.3 Why Study Flight Biomechanics? 29 1.4 Summary 34 CHAPTER TWO Morphology of the Flight Apparatus 36 2.1 Thoracic Design 36 2.2 Wings 52 2.3 Ancillary Structures 72 2.4 Summary 74 CHAPTER THREE Kinematics and Aerodynamics of Flight 75 3.1 Wing and Body Motions 75 3.2 Aerodynamics 105 3.3 Mechanical Power Requirements 144 3.4 Summary 157 CHAPTER FOUR Energetics and Flight Physiology 159 4.1 Oxygen Consumption 159 4.2 Muscle Physiology 172 4.3 Thermoregulation in Flight 196 4.4 Summary 157 CHAPTER FIVE Stability, Maneuverability, and Maximum Flight Performance 203 5.1 Stability 203 5.2 Maneuverability 222 5.3 Three-Dimensional Flight Behavior 233 5.4 Limits to Insect Flight Performance 242 5.5 Summary 259 CHAPTER SIX Evolution of Flight and Flightlessness 261 6.1 Origin of Flight in Hexapods 261 6.2 Evolutionary Consequences of Flight and Flightlessness 291 6.3 Summary 300 CHAPTER SEVEN Flight and Insect Diversification 302 7.1 Miniaturization 302 7.2 Pollination 309 7.3 Predation 313 7.4 Long-Range Dispersal and Migration 322 7.5 Comparison of Insect and Vertebrate Flight 331 7.6 Summary 336 CHAPTER EIGHT Future Directions in Insect Flight Biomechanics 338 8.1 Aerodynamic Mechanisms 338 8.2 Insect Flight Biomechanics in Nature 341 8.3 Exploring Insect Diversity 347 GLOSSARY 353 REFERENCES 361 INDEX 465

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This work is a remarkable accomplishment, something never before even attempted... Especially noteworthy are the remarkable way it combines biomechanical with ecological and evolutionary thinking and the extent to which it brings in non-English literature... It will have a long and useful life. -- Steven Vogel, Duke University, author of "Life in Moving Fluids: The Physical Biology of Flow" and "Life's Devices: The Physical World of Animals and Plants" This is an excellent book, without any serious competitors... Particularly impressive is the range of Robert Dudley's knowledge and understanding of the many aspects and of the literature of this fascinating, complex subject. He covers physiology, functional morphology, paleontology, aerodynamics, behaviour and ecology with almost equal confidence and authority ... and the book excels as a synthesis of all these fields, and as a unique source of information on the subject as a whole. -- Robin Wootton, University of Exeter Robert Dudley provides a thorough review and synthesis of the literature on insect flight. The book is timely in several respects... It will serve as an excellent example of how the fields of biomechanics and evolution can be productively and rigorously combined. -- Mark Denny, Stanford University, author of "Air and Water: The Biology and Physics of Life's Media" and "Biology and the Mechanics of the Wave-Swept Environment".

About the Author

Robert Dudley is Professor of Biomechanics and Comparative Physiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of numerous articles on the biomechanics of insect flight. He is also a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Republic of Panama.


Winner of the 2000 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Biological Science, Association of American Publishers "Robert Dudley has written a remarkably comprehensive account of our knowledge of insect flight... No other recent book covers the field so fully..."--R. McNeill Alexander, Nature "An exhaustive compendium of everything known about insect flight, the hows, whys, and evolution. Dudley cites almost 2000 works, making this an effective reference to two centuries of work."--New Scientist "Somewhat unusually for such a broad-scope book, Dudley fully addresses all three aspects of the subtitle. He has packed it with a plethora of interesting facts, observations, and questions that should interest a wide audience."--Graham W. Elmes, The Times Higher Education Supplement "This book explores the topic in encyclopedic fashion... [It] covers much more than the title implies."--John S. Edwards, New Biological Books "This book explores the topic in encyclopedic fashion with a copious treasury of references and a welcome respect for the history of the subject... A valuable resource."--John S. Edwards, Quarterly Review of Biology "The paperback issue of Biomechanics of Insect Flight is a worthwhile book for investigators of any aspect of insect biology, a necessary book for those in the field of animal flight, and certainly a valuable reference book for the casual reader."--James Usherwood, Journal of Experimental Biology

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