The Biomechanics of Insect Flight

Dudley, Robert

Published by Princeton University Press, 1999
ISBN 10: 0691044309 / ISBN 13: 9780691044309
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From the rain forests of Borneo to the tenements of Manhattan, winged insects are a conspicuous and abundant feature of life on earth. Here, Robert Dudley presents the first comprehensive explanation of how insects fly. The author relates the biomechanics of flight to insect ecology and evolution in a major new work of synthesis.


The book begins with an overview of insect flight biomechanics. Dudley explains insect morphology, wing motions, aerodynamics, flight energetics, and flight metabolism within a modern phylogenetic setting. Drawing on biomechanical principles, he describes and evaluates flight behavior and the limits to flight performance. The author then takes the next step by developing evolutionary explanations of insect flight. He analyzes the origins of flight in insects, the roles of natural and sexual selection in determining how insects fly, and the relationship between flight and insect size, pollination, predation, dispersal, and migration. Dudley ranges widely--from basic aerodynamics to muscle physiology and swarming behavior--but his focus is the explanation of functional design from evolutionary and ecological perspectives.


The importance of flight in the lives of insects has long been recognized but never systematically evaluated. This book addresses that shortcoming. Robert Dudley provides an introduction to insect flight that will be welcomed by students and researchers in biomechanics, entomology, evolution, ecology, and behavior.


From the Back Cover:

"This work is a remarkable accomplishment, something never before even attempted. . . . Especially noteworthy are the remarkable way it combines biomechanical with ecological and evolutionary thinking and the extent to which it brings in non-English literature. . . . It will have a long and useful life."--Steven Vogel, Duke University, author of Life in Moving Fluids: The Physical Biology of Flow and Life's Devices: The Physical World of Animals and Plants


"This is an excellent book, without any serious competitors.... Particularly impressive is the range of Robert Dudley's knowledge and understanding of the many aspects and of the literature of this fascinating, complex subject. He covers physiology, functional morphology, paleontology, aerodynamics, behaviour and ecology with almost equal confidence and authority ... and the book excels as a synthesis of all these fields, and as a unique source of information on the subject as a whole."--Robin Wootton, University of Exeter


"Robert Dudley provides a thorough review and synthesis of the literature on insect flight. The book is timely in several respects.... It will serve as an excellent example of how the fields of biomechanics and evolution can be productively and rigorously combined."--Mark Denny, Stanford University, author of Air and Water: The Biology and Physics of Life's Media and Biology and the Mechanics of the Wave-Swept Environment.


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Title: The Biomechanics of Insect Flight
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Princeton Univ Pr, Princton, NJ, 2000. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. A clean, unmarked copy with a tight binding. 476 pages. Inscribed by author. Contents: Flight and the Pterygote Insecta; Morphology of the Flight Apparatus; Kinematics and Aerodynamics of Flight; Energetics and Flight Physiology; Stability, Maneuverability, and Maximum Flight Performance; Evolution of Flight and Flightlessness; Flight and Insect Diversification; Future Directions in Insect Flight Biomechanics; Glossary; References; Index. Inscribed By Author. Bookseller Inventory # 124809

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