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Flies Avoid Attacks Using Military Jet Tactics

Flies Avoid Attacks Using Military Jet Tactics

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With subtle wing movement, insect is capable of sudden flight path changes, study says.

A scientific experiment conducted by the University of Washington in the United States concluded that so-called fruit flies are capable of changing the course of their flights in a fraction of a second, similar to the sudden change in trajectory of fighters. military.

Videos taken with high-speed cameras revealed the subtle wing movement of the flies, which allows them to suddenly turn around to avoid a possible attack.

One of the study's authors, Michael Dickinson, said flies acquire this ability extremely quickly after birth. The scientist compares it to a baby placed inside a fighter but capable of piloting the aircraft.

Why they are changing direction so quickly, however, remains a mystery.

"Flies do an extremely fast accurate calculation to avoid a threat, but they do it using a brain that is the size of a grain of salt," says Dickinson.

The flight of the flies was captured using three high-speed cameras placed inside a cage.
Scientists startled the flies using flashes of an image of an approaching predator and watched closely as the flies changed their trajectory.

Experience has shown that flies begin to move away from threats in half the time it takes for a human to start blinking into a camera flash.

And they can change their trajectory in one-fifth of the time it takes us to complete the blink. The experiment was published in the journal Science.