Wed 11 Apr | Wired

 

Despite their relatively cumbersome wings, bats are champions of nocturnal aviation, a feat accomplished through an ingenious bit of aeronautical engineering.

Bats fold their wings inward while lifting them in flight, saving 65 percent of the energy that would be required to lift wings still outstretched, say Brown University researchers who used high-speed video to analyze the aerial kinematics of fruit bats.