Birds of the Pteroclidae family can absorb up to 15% of their weight in water using their feathers.
No matter how advanced the technology may seem, in retrospect it has everything relationship with nature. Nature is wise, but also very smart, and the great proof of this is the evolutionary process that it does Birds of the Pteroclidae family, originally from Africa. These birds make nests away from water sources, because they are places where many animals are concentrated, most of which are potential predators. But Pteroclidae have to bring water to their chicks, how do they do that?
From this great question was born Collaborative investigation among experts Johns Hopkins University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who brought these birds’ anatomy to the lab in hopes of better understanding them. What they discovered was a wonder of nature, because the feathers of this species are Designed to absorb water With great efficiency. Engineering work on a microscopic scale allows them to do so Wet their young even if they are in a nest miles away from water.
A superpower that turns them into water sponges
The researchers used scanning electron techniques, microcomputed tomography, optical microscopy, and 3D video imaging Abdominal plumage analysis And I discovered the structure able to hold water As if it were a sponge. Feather fibers Change its shape when in contact with water It acts as an absorbent, keeping the liquid inside without spilling out. In this way, once landing on the water, The jumper “refills” the tank It returns to the nest loaded with water. It is estimated that the feathers are able to survive Up to 15% of the total weight of the animal is in the water.
This explains the significance of this result. Jochen Muelleran assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of the study:
“It’s really cool to see how nature has been able to create such completely efficient structures for absorbing and retaining water. From an engineering perspective, we think the results could lead to creations inspired by biological life.”
The first ideas that arise for applying this particular structure at a technological level are straightforward sports related. Using the design that these birds’ feathers have, it can be created Bottle able to hold liquid inside without it swaying with movement. It will solve a problem for all the people who like to run, because it is very annoying that the water in the bottles is moving all the time. The study authors think so We can learn a lot from these birdsNow that we know their secrets, they’re eager to see what applications they can have on a technological level.
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