Lovebirds rotate their heads at lightning speed

Washington, June 25 (IANS) Lovebirds improve sight and shorten blur by rotating their head at speeds of up to 2,700 degrees per second, says a new study.

During flight, turning lovebirds rotate their heads faster than any other vertebrate recorded to date.

The authors discovered this super-fast behaviour by filming the manoeuver at 2000 frames per second.

“The lovebird’s rapid head turn probably enables them to make split second decisions during rapid turns,” said Daniel Kress from Stanford University.

Analysis of high-speed flight recordings revealed that rapidly turning lovebirds execute extremely fast head turns during turning manoeuvers.

Lovebirds time these head turns precisely when their wings are covering their eyes, this minimizes the time of obscured sight. Therefore, the love birds shorten phases of blurry and obscured sight into a fraction of the actual turning time, resulting in stable and clear vision during the rest of the manoeuver.

The accuracy and speed of these visually guided flight-manoeuvers may inspire camera rotation design in drone to improve imaging.

The study appeared in the journal Plos One


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