SKENE, J.A.*; FISCHER, I.M.; HUBER, M.H.; HEDRICK, T.; STOCKWELL, E.S.; SWARTZ, S.M.: Three-dimensional kinematics of level flight in the Egyptian Fruit Bat, Rousettus aegyptiacus
To understand the functional and evolutionary significance of the diversity of bat wing morphologies, it is critical to understand the three-dimensional deployment of the wing during flight behaviors. Here, we use three-dimensional kinematic analysis to investigate wing motion patterns in a medium-sized megachiropteran bat, Rousettus aegyptiacus. We trained four individuals to fly in a wind-tunnel over a range of velocities. We then employed a dual camera system to record digital video images of flights. From these data we map the three-dimensional movement patterns of the shoulder, elbow, carpus, and third and fifth digits. We document previously undescribed movements of the clavicle and handwing, and find significant changes in kinematic patterns with changing velocity. We also use the kinematic patterns described here as input into a computer model of bat flight, and compare results from this species to previous analyses of a much larger megachiropteran species, Pteropus poliocephalus.