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The Biomechanics of Insect Flight : Form, Function, Evolution - Robert Dudley

The Biomechanics of Insect Flight

Form, Function, Evolution

Paperback Published: 29th September 2002
ISBN: 9780691094915
Number Of Pages: 496

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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.

Industry Reviews

Winner of the 2000 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Biological Science, Association of American Publishers "Robert Dudley has written a remarkably comprehensive account of our knowledge of insect flight... No other recent book covers the field so fully..."--R. McNeill Alexander, Nature "An exhaustive compendium of everything known about insect flight, the hows, whys, and evolution. Dudley cites almost 2000 works, making this an effective reference to two centuries of work."--New Scientist "Somewhat unusually for such a broad-scope book, Dudley fully addresses all three aspects of the subtitle. He has packed it with a plethora of interesting facts, observations, and questions that should interest a wide audience."--Graham W. Elmes, The Times Higher Education Supplement "This book explores the topic in encyclopedic fashion... [It] covers much more than the title implies."--John S. Edwards, New Biological Books "This book explores the topic in encyclopedic fashion with a copious treasury of references and a welcome respect for the history of the subject... A valuable resource."--John S. Edwards, Quarterly Review of Biology "The paperback issue of Biomechanics of Insect Flight is a worthwhile book for investigators of any aspect of insect biology, a necessary book for those in the field of animal flight, and certainly a valuable reference book for the casual reader."--James Usherwood, Journal of Experimental Biology

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Symbolsp. xi
Flight and the Pterygote Insectap. 3
Insect Diversityp. 5
Basic Aerodynamicsp. 15
Why Study Flight Biomechanics?p. 29
Summaryp. 34
Morphology of the Flight Apparatusp. 36
Thoracic Designp. 36
Wingsp. 52
Ancillary Structuresp. 72
Summaryp. 74
Kinematics and Aerodynamics of Flightp. 75
Wing and Body Motionsp. 75
Aerodynamicsp. 105
Mechanical Power Requirementsp. 144
Summaryp. 157
Energetics and Flight Physiologyp. 159
Oxygen Consumptionp. 159
Muscle Physiologyp. 172
Thermoregulation in Flightp. 196
Summaryp. 157
Stability, Maneuverability, and Maximum Flight Performancep. 203
Stabilityp. 203
Maneuverabilityp. 222
Three-Dimensional Flight Behaviorp. 233
Limits to Insect Flight Performancep. 242
Summaryp. 259
Evolution of Flight and Flightlessnessp. 261
Origin of Flight in Hexapodsp. 261
Evolutionary Consequences of Flight and Flightlessnessp. 291
Summaryp. 300
Flight and Insect Diversificationp. 302
Miniaturizationp. 302
Pollinationp. 309
Predationp. 313
Long-Range Dispersal and Migrationp. 322
Comparison of Insect and Vertebrate Flightp. 331
Summaryp. 336
Future Directions in Insect Flight Biomechanicsp. 338
Aerodynamic Mechanismsp. 338
Insect Flight Biomechanics in Naturep. 341
Exploring Insect Diversityp. 347
Glossaryp. 353
Referencesp. 361
Indexp. 465
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691094915
ISBN-10: 0691094918
Series: Form, Function, Evolution
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: 29th September 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.71