Starlings: Nature’s algorithm in flight


Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, starlings are a hardy and resilient species of bird known foremost for their elaborate flight formations. Highly social and capable of mimicking sound, which scientists have been studying to better understand human language, starlings are also an invasive species whose direct flight and strong feet will ensure their evolutionary longevity. But perhaps their most impressive visual feature is when starlings take flight as a flock, called a murmuration. The web is full of videos and images featuring these elaborate, breathtaking, and mathematically precise aerial orchestrations, whose function and origin remain a mystery among scientists.

Check out this starling murmuration on video:

About Author

Kristian strives to enlighten and entertain readers. In addition to his teaching and editorial responsibilities, he is working on a science-fiction novel that promises not to include exoskeleton suits and anemic aliens floating in mysterious vats of green-tinted goop.

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