Meeting Abstract

98.1  Saturday, Jan. 7  Relative role of hindlimbs and forelimbs during take-off and landing in different species of birds PROVINI, Pauline*; ABOURACHID, Anick; Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris; Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris

Although take-off and landing are crucial components of avian flight, few studies have focused on these two phases and consequently the functional role of the hind limbs during take-off and landing remains unclear. We investigated the role of the legs in generating propulsion during take-off and their ability to dampen impact forces during landing, in several species of birds. The animals were filmed during short distance free-flights between two perches, situated at different heights. The lower perch was filmed by multiple synchronized high speed video cameras and the reaction forces involved during take-off and landing on the perch were measured. The first and second derivatives of the centre of mass trajectory have provided velocity and acceleration profiles, respectively. We observed that hind limbs are prominent in generating propulsion during take-off and dampen impact forces during landing. These results will help us understand the mechanical demands imposed by take-off and landing on non-level perches and will lead to a better understanding of the role of the hind limbs in bird locomotion.