It is known that several species of snakes, such as Chrysophelia, can “fly”. Sometimes it manages to “fly” even at a distance of 100 meters, but how?
First of all, it should be noted that the term “flying snake” is incorrect. These species can just jump quite long distances and not fly.
Observing the species of Chrysophelia, filming their movements, and experimenting with them has provided an answer to how they manage to put the body to then travel long distances.
Five Chrysopheles found in Southeast and South Asia were observed moving their ribs, changing shape, and jumping while jumping in the air. But that doesn’t fully explain how reptiles manage to perform this trick.
“Other snakes can also flatten their bodies, such as the royal cobra. “They do it for a variety of purposes,” said Jake Souha, a professor at Virginia Tech University.
To figure out what else was needed, Souha and his colleagues armed themselves with video cameras and carefully recorded the movement of the Chrysophiles as they jumped from one building to other several tens of meters apart.
These photos then created 3-D images that allowed them to have a better observation of the reptiles’ body positions. It turned out, snakes bend the body by 25 ° before jumping, pushing themselves up, tail down. This is about the same position as when you move your hand out of the car and turn it so that the wrist is on top.
Chrysophelia snakes, which reach 4 feet (1.2 m) in length, take an S-shape when gliding in the air. It was thought that this would help them maintain their height (i.e., overcome gravity for some time). Subsequent experiments substantiated this view. A group of researchers used artificial models to observe the aerodynamics of various snakes in motion.
“Observations show that by taking the shape of an S, a snake can jump farther than it would in the right position,” said Professor Souham, whose experiments were funded by the National Geographic Society’s Scientific Research Committee.
“In the S configuration, the front of the snake’s body creates a kind of wave that is transmitted to the back and rises above it.”