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Navigating in Air and Water


 
Bees do it, fish do it - even scientists who build experiments for lab animals do it.
Everyone tries to avoid running into things. What surprised Swedish scientists is that fish and bees do it in different ways.
Researchers built an experimental tunnel with vertical stripes on one side and horizontal ones on the other. You’re looking down on it from above.
For a creature that’s flying or swimming through the tunnel, the vertical stripes zip by like telephone poles seen from a moving train. The horizontal stripes don’t produce that sense of movement.
Bees, sensibly, avoid the moving obstacles by flying nearer the horizontal stripes. Fish, however, swim closer to the vertical stripes.
Why? Scientists don’t really know but it’s possible that visibility is so poor in water that the fish like to be nearer the obstacles to help them navigate.
Good to know if you’re building underwater robots, but inventing a tunnel that could be used for swimming or flying? Now that’s what I call science!

Source: nytimes

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