Hummingbirds generate bilateral vortex loops during hovering: evidence from flow visualization

Hummingbirds generate bilateral vortex loops during hovering: evidence from flow visualization Visualization of the vortex wake of a flying animal provides understanding of how wingbeat kinematics are translated into the aerodynamic forces for powering and controlling flight. Two general vortex flow patterns have been proposed for the wake of hovering hummingbirds: (1) The two wings form a single, merged vortex ring during each wing stroke; and (2) the two wings form bilateral vortex loops during each wing stroke. The second pattern was proposed after a study with particle image velocimetry that demonstrated bilateral source flows in a horizontal measurement plane underneath hovering Anna’s hummingbirds (Calypte anna). Proof of this hypothesis requires a clear perspective of bilateral pairs of vortices. Here, we used high-speed image sequences (500 frames per second) of C. anna hover feeding within a white plume to visualize the vortex wake from multiple perspectives. The films revealed two key structural features: (1) Two distinct jets of downwards airflow are present under each wing; and (2) vortex loops around each jet are shed during each upstroke and downstroke. To aid in the interpretation of the flow visualization data, we analyzed high-speed kinematic data (1,000 frames per second) of wing tips and wing roots as C. anna hovered in normal air. These data were used to refine several simplified models of vortex topology. The observed flow patterns can be explained by either a single loop model with an hourglass shape or a bilateral model, with the latter being more likely. When hovering in normal air, hummingbirds used an average stroke amplitude of 153.6° (range 148.9°–164.4°) and a wingbeat frequency of 38.5 Hz (range 38.1–39.1 Hz). When hovering in the white plume, hummingbirds used shallower stroke amplitudes ( $$ \bar{x} $$  = 129.8°, range 116.3°–154.1°) and faster wingbeat frequencies ( $$ \bar{x} $$  = 41.1 Hz, range 38.5–44.7 Hz), although the bilateral jets and associated vortices were observed across the full kinematic range. The plume did not significantly alter the air density or constrain the sustained muscle contractile frequency. Instead, higher wingbeat frequencies likely incurred a higher metabolic cost with the possible benefit of allowing the birds to more rapidly escape from the visually disruptive plume. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Experiments in Fluids Springer Journals

Hummingbirds generate bilateral vortex loops during hovering: evidence from flow visualization

Loading next page...
1
 
/lp/springer_journal/hummingbirds-generate-bilateral-vortex-loops-during-hovering-evidence-HhPxiO0kd3
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Subject
Engineering; Engineering Fluid Dynamics; Fluid- and Aerodynamics; Engineering Thermodynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer
ISSN
0723-4864
eISSN
1432-1114
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00348-012-1439-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Visualization of the vortex wake of a flying animal provides understanding of how wingbeat kinematics are translated into the aerodynamic forces for powering and controlling flight. Two general vortex flow patterns have been proposed for the wake of hovering hummingbirds: (1) The two wings form a single, merged vortex ring during each wing stroke; and (2) the two wings form bilateral vortex loops during each wing stroke. The second pattern was proposed after a study with particle image velocimetry that demonstrated bilateral source flows in a horizontal measurement plane underneath hovering Anna’s hummingbirds (Calypte anna). Proof of this hypothesis requires a clear perspective of bilateral pairs of vortices. Here, we used high-speed image sequences (500 frames per second) of C. anna hover feeding within a white plume to visualize the vortex wake from multiple perspectives. The films revealed two key structural features: (1) Two distinct jets of downwards airflow are present under each wing; and (2) vortex loops around each jet are shed during each upstroke and downstroke. To aid in the interpretation of the flow visualization data, we analyzed high-speed kinematic data (1,000 frames per second) of wing tips and wing roots as C. anna hovered in normal air. These data were used to refine several simplified models of vortex topology. The observed flow patterns can be explained by either a single loop model with an hourglass shape or a bilateral model, with the latter being more likely. When hovering in normal air, hummingbirds used an average stroke amplitude of 153.6° (range 148.9°–164.4°) and a wingbeat frequency of 38.5 Hz (range 38.1–39.1 Hz). When hovering in the white plume, hummingbirds used shallower stroke amplitudes ( $$ \bar{x} $$  = 129.8°, range 116.3°–154.1°) and faster wingbeat frequencies ( $$ \bar{x} $$  = 41.1 Hz, range 38.5–44.7 Hz), although the bilateral jets and associated vortices were observed across the full kinematic range. The plume did not significantly alter the air density or constrain the sustained muscle contractile frequency. Instead, higher wingbeat frequencies likely incurred a higher metabolic cost with the possible benefit of allowing the birds to more rapidly escape from the visually disruptive plume.

Journal

Experiments in FluidsSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 25, 2012

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off