(ORDO NEWS) — Andean Condor spends only 1% of its flight time flapping wings, experts at the British University of Swansea found out – the rest of the time it soars due to ascending air currents. Researchers talked about their discovery in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Andean condor is the heaviest bird in the world, able to soar. The mass of his body reaches 15 kg, and the wingspan is three meters. Researchers secured special equipment on eight condors to record every flap of their wings. In total, scientists recorded more than 250 hours of flight.
Surprisingly, the researchers spent only 1% of their time flapping their wings. The rest of the time they were hovering. One of the condors flew 160 km without flapping its wings even once.
For prolonged soaring, condors use ascending air currents, the researchers explain. Andean condors are scavengers, and they have to spend long hours in flight looking for food. Thanks to soaring, they manage to overcome long distances, minimizing the load on the wings.
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