Built in compass

Built in compass

Have you ever wondered what helps to guide bugs of the night? How are they able to fly with such accuracy in the pitch black conditions? Researchers say it is because they have more than just an internal compass. Flying insects also have the equal to turbulence sensors that help guide them in the right direction.

Insects actually get carried by the wind more than they fly through it, which makes sense considering their size and low weight. But because they aren’t resisting the air flow like most animals that fly, they get a higher rate of turbulence from side to side. So which do they rely on more? The wind currents or visuals from the ground. Researchers set out to find the answer and what they found is quite interesting.

Insects, like moths respond differently when winds hit them from a side to side angle. However they also can be misled by spiraling winds. These cause offsets that are the key to the research. It shows that without doubt moths and other flying insects use that internal compass mix with wind turbulence to determine their distance and over correction that is needed to land at their intended destination.

For more information on moths and other flying insects, please click here.

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