World Bulletin / News Desk
While scientists are still dumfounded by the flight of the bee, which according to the rules of science should be aerodynamically impossible, scientists will be now even more shocked to learn that bees have enough strength to even fly over Mount Everest, after a species of Chinese bumblebee was found to be capable of flying at air pressure levels equivalent to an altitude of 9,000 metres.
The 8,848 meters high Mount Everest, the largest mountain in the world, is now considered to be no match for bumblebees, which after being tested in a barometric chamber in conditions that would suffocate most animals was seen altering the angle of their wings to increase their amplitude. Oxygen levels were also dropped to that which is typical of mountain ranges, yet this had no affect on the bees.
According to Michael Dillon of the University of Wyoming, who led the study published in the journal Biology Letters, bees deal with the 60% decline in air density by increasing the force produced by their flapping wings by a similar 60%.
“A hovering bumblebee has an oxygen demand that is roughly 15 to 20 times that of an elite athlete, yet in our experiments they are meeting this demand in spite of a greatly reduced supply – the partial pressure of oxygen is less than a third of sea-level values,” he told The Independent.
“There are a few other documented examples of organisms flying over Everest, such as bar-headed geese, and there are many records of insect sightings as high as 5,000 to 6,000 metres in the Himalayas,” Professor Dillon said.
“However, to our knowledge, this is the highest record of an insect flying in reduced barometric pressures, that is, when challenged with both reductions in air density and oxygen,” he added.Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2014, 14:31