Why seagulls have dark wings: there is a vital reason for this
send to Telegram
share on Facebook
send to Viber
send to Whatsapp
send to Messenger
The birds that soar in the air have long and thin wings, but seagulls have a trick that allows them to soar with short and more wide wings.
According to scientists, the dark color on the shorter and wider wings of gulls helps them change the temperature of the surrounding air, and this allows the birds to glide efficiently without compromising flight speed and maneuverability in the air, writes New Scientist.
At Focus. Technology has its own Telegram channel. Subscribe to not miss the latest and exciting news from the world of science!
Flying birds have either relatively long, thin wings that allow them to fly long distances, or shorter, wider wings that allow for more energy-efficient movements such as mid-air maneuvering and takeoff. But some gulls have evolved wings to do both by absorbing heat from the air.
adapted to float in the air, it makes it difficult to lift the body, but as soon as seagulls are in the air and forage, that's when this dark pigment on their wings seems to come into play, “says Madeleine Goumas from Exeter University, England.
Until a few years ago, scientists discovered that the black upper surface of the albatross' wings is about 10°C warmer than the white surface below them, and that this reduces the density of the air around the wings. As a result, the air becomes more viscous, reducing drag and providing additional lift for more efficient gliding. As part of a new study, Gumas decided to find out if a similar phenomenon can occur in gulls.
To do this, the scientist studied the color and shape of the body and wings of 50 species of gulls. In particular, the subject of her research was the comparison of the wingspan with the width of the wing and the comparison of body mass with the dimensions of the wing (the so-called wing load). The scientist then studied how these indicators correlate with the color of the lower and upper surfaces of the wings.
Scientists have found that more wing loading is associated with darker colors on the upper surface of gulls' wings. In particular, species with larger bodies and smaller wings tended to have darker wing surfaces, while birds with smaller bodies and wider wings were lighter in color.
“At first it seemed that these results contradicted data from another study in which darker wings were associated with longer and thinner wings. But then I realized that while many seabirds, such as albatrosses, which fly very long distances over ocean, use both color and wing shape to increase gliding efficiency in the air, seagulls use color to compensate for the shape of their wings and body,” Goumas says.
According to Goumas, seagulls do not look like albatrosses and many other seabirds because they spend a lot of time on land and lead a rather sedentary lifestyle. And at the same time, they often take off in search of food, albeit for a short time.
“When I thought about these features of gulls, everything fell into place,” says Gumas.
< p>As for other studies of the world from the world of fauna, Focus has already written that scientists have discovered creatures with wings and a proboscis, extinct millions of years ago.