Extremely fast dives help peregrine falcons maneuver to catch agile prey

Press/Media: ResearchAcademic

Description

Peregrine falcons are famed for their high-speed, high-altitude stoops. Hunting prey at perhaps the highest speed of any animal places a stooping falcon under extraordinary physical, physiological, and cognitive demands, yet it remains unknown how this behavioural strategy promotes catch success. Because the behavioral aspects of stooping are intimately related to its biomechanical constraints, we address this question through an embodied cognition approach. We model the falcon’s cognition using guidance laws inspired by theory and experiment, and embody this in a physics-based simulation of predator and prey flight. Stooping maximizes catch success against agile prey by minimizing roll inertia and maximizing the aerodynamic forces available for maneuvering, but requires a tightly tuned guidance law, and exquisitely precise vision and control.

Period12-Apr-2018 → 21-Jul-2019

Media coverage

53

Media coverage

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

Keywords

  • peregrine falcon
  • stoop
  • high speed
  • computer simulations
  • aerial attacks