Little was known about how these snakes “flew” before a team of Virginia Tech scientists released a new research paper on Monday.
Experts say the snakes are flying through the air, so study author Isaac Yeaton told CNN that the team has decided to figure out how to do it.
The snakes made an undulating motion as they moved through the air, and the researchers were curious as to how they did it.
The team had a basic knowledge of ripple, thanks to the work of study author Jake Socha, who has been studying snakes for about 20 years, Yeaton said.
All snakes do not miss when they move from the ground, but flying snakes also fly in the air.
You don’t strictly need waves to fall, so that brings us to the question “then why are waves,” Yeaton said.
One hypothesis was that it was a basic motor model for integrated snakes over millions of years, but Yeaton said he now understands the ripple stabilizes the glide and prevents the snake from breaking, even though it allows it to cover a more horizontal distance.
The researchers conducted internal experiments with live snakes at Virginia Tech and also developed a computational model. “It’s a big step forward,” Yeaton said.
The next step for researchers is to observe snakes jumping from trees – or gliding – outdoors, Yeaton said, as well as investigating how they generate elevators and how they turn in the air.
He told CNN that snakes are “question-generating organisms” and there are many more mysteries to be solved.
“As soon as the look is like‘ how do you do that? ’” Said Yeaton, who added that this could be because so many people fear reptiles.
“We have a visceral response to snakes,” he said. “So the idea that this animal can then fly is very disturbing for people.”
The full research was published in the journal Nature Physics.