Video: See Snakes Fly

Virginia Tech researchers are learning how the reptiles are able to glide so gracefully to the ground.

  • December 22, 2010

Many of the arboreal snakes of Asia are renowned for their ability to glide impressive distances from high tree branches of the jungle. But how do they do it?

New video footage provides some of the answers: Biomechanist Jake Socha of Virginia Tech and his colleagues launched one such species of "flying'' snakes, Chrysopelea paradise, from a 15-meter tall tower, then videotaped and analyzed the snakes' exact body positions throughout their flights. They also developed a gliding model to further explore the physical forces at play during the snakes' flights.

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