Phenomena

The Flying Draco

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Nature includes many animals that are so-called fliers: flying squirrels, flying snakes, and draco lizards, to name a few. These animals aren’t true fliers like birds, bats, or insects, though. Instead, they are expert gliders, able to produce enough lift to control their descent and land safely at a distance far greater than a normal leap could carry them. Like the flying squirrel, the draco lizard extends a thin membrane that acts as its wings. The additional area provides enough lift that the lizards can glide as far as 60 m (200 ft) while only losing 10 m (33 ft) in altitude. That’s an impressive glide ratio – about 3 times better than the Northern flying squirrel and twice as good as a wingsuit. (Video credit: BBC/Planet Earth II)

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