Review of Flight, the Genius of Birds
by Arthur Khachatryan
For millennia human beings have looked up at the sky in amazement, wondering what it must feel like to soar through the air like birds. We’ve marveled at this incredible feature of the natural world. The dawn of modern science allowed for better examination of these magnificent creatures, and finally that curiosity turned into an actuality in the early part of the 20th century, as human flight through the aid of machines was finally achieved in the form of one of the greatest engineering feats of human history. Flight, the Genius of Birds (henceforth simply “Flight“) takes the viewer on a journey into the nature of flight, specifically that of the natural world, and provides insight into the various dynamic cooperative systems that must all be working in unison to allow for such an amazing feature as flight. It is a truly enlightening film that is bound to tickle the curiosity of any thoughtful and open-minded person.
Since the first airplanes greater engineering refinements would take place – faster, more agile and more aerodynamic planes, better instrumentation. And all along one interesting and odd fact has remained – the more we learn about birds, the better we are able to engineer our aircraft. It is no wonder that the poet William Blake referred to birds in flight as “a portion of genius.” Flight offers a compelling display of evidence of design in the natural world, and it is, therefore, no surprise that the brilliant engineering of this kind should be borrowed by other engineers who would try to achieve the same end.
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Birds and Flight
Flight gives us many insights into birds and the technical inner-workings of the biomechanics of birds. It is a journey takes the viewer into the organism from fertilization, egg, to incubation and development and finally to maturation. The incredible footage of the development of birds is especially dramatic as it demonstrates the single cell that slowly develops into a complex organism. One of the most interesting aspects of the development of birds, as with other organisms, is that the blueprint information for every feature of bird’s organism are already present at the very outset of the development cycle, which is translated into body plans and function.
Though birds need to strengthen their wings first, the ability to fly is already hardwired in them. When we look at birds and their flight through the naked eye we get a somewhat superficial understanding of how they fly. However, flight requires not just a pair of wings, but the entire biology coordinated toward that function. A few of the features include a light body, flexible wings, aeordynamic body, structural strength of bones, etc. Of particular surprise is how light are the skeletal system of birds in general. For example, the entire skeleton of seagull that typically weighs around 20 lbs. is only 30 oz…