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Tag: bumble bee

Flight of the bumble bee

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Smooth as it may look — especially when one’s zooming toward your head — the flight of the bumble bee is actually an awkward affair.

In fact, it’s surprising they even get off the ground.

According to a report in the journal “Experiments in Fluids” (in case you didn’t get your copy this month), an Oxford University study observed bumble bees in free flight within a smoke-filled wind tunnel, and found them to be “surprisingly inefficient.”

“Aerodynamically-speaking it’s as if the insect is ‘split in half’ as not only do its left and right wings flap independently but the airflow around them never joins up to help it slip through the air more easily,” the study leader said in a statement.

Most flying insects and birds rely on aerodynamic forces, but, with the bumble bee, it’s a matter of brute force — augmented, researchers say, by their diet of energy-rich nectar.

DoggySpace costume contest benefits SPCA

Once you’ve gone to the trouble of dressing your dog up, you might as well enter him or her in the DoggySpace Halloween costume contest.

DoggySpace, a social networking site for dogs, is sponsoring a costume contest to benefit local chapters of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SPCA). Dog owners can post pictures at DoggySpace, where site members can vote for their favorite costume.

DoggySpace will donate $6,000 to the winning dogs local SPCA chapter.

Many SPCAs are privately funded, which means they are under-funded,” said Levi Thorton, Doggyspace founder. “Prize money from this contest will go directly to a local SPCA to help with the organizations mission of raising awareness of animal abuse and promoting programs such as good pet care and spay/neuter awareness initiatives.

Over 75 SPCA chapters have joined the cause, and more than 2,000 votes have already been cast on photos posted at doggyspace, including this one of Blanco, a Chihuahua dressed as a bumblebee.

Dog lovers have until October 31 to push their favorite costume to the winning spot.

Doggyspace.com is a social network for dog owners, with free membership. Dog owners can create a doggy portfolio, form groups, and post their favorite photos and videos while connecting with other friends in the neighborhood, from the dog park, across the country or in another country.