Turning on a Dime

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Science  10 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5703, pp. 1899-1900
DOI: 10.1126/science.1107070

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Insects are considered the masters of unconventional lift during flight. In their Perspective, Müller and Lentink discuss the discovery that birds, too, can produce unconventional lift. Apparently, swifts use their wings to generate a so-called leading-edge vortex to produce the lift they need to fly very fast and execute the tight turns that enable them to capture their insect prey ( Videler et al.).