Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Explaining tetrapter flight (Tetrapters/tetropters X)

Just a short post this time. 

The Book will not only contain paintings of animals, plants, mixotrophs and people, but will also contain explanatory diagrams. These are usually much more boring to produce than texts or paintings, but they still have to be done... I had postponed writing and illustrating the flight of tetrapters for quite some time, and have now decided to get to work and not to look up until it is done. 

The challenge here was how I could capture the complexity of tetrapter flight in static diagrams, although I already had videos dynamically showing how tetrapters move their wings. The two diagrams above form part of a set of eight. Together they depict one complete movement cycle. I decided that I would show the path of the tip of the wing in the diagram, and that a portion of the path would be shown with a bold line, to indicate the movement since the preceding diagram. I hope that works.

Click to enlarge; copyright Gert van Dijk

 
Click to enlarge; copyright Gert van Dijk

The two diagrams show the point in time where the wings are moving apart after the 'clap' phase, when they touch or nearly touch. When they then 'fling' away, they create the 'clap and fling' mechanism that provides part of the lift. For more on that, you may read some older posts indicated by their year of publication: 2009a, 2009b, 2011 and 2018

 

Click to enlarge; copyright Gert van Dijk

 By the way, I have started to update the main Furaha website. I will gradually add some new material, but do not want to give away too much of the content of The Book. Still, some newer paintings will creep in here and there. I changed the image on the welcome screen, and do not think I ever published that particular rusp image before. So there you are.

20 comments:

Andrew Broeker said...

Still looking forward to buying the book. Any timeline estimates?

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you again! Thanks for the update to the Tetropters and the Blog and the Main Page.

Keep enjoying yourself and keeping safe.
-Anthony Docimo.

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Andrew Broeker: Now that the finish is in sight , I have started sending messages to possible publishers; well, only one yet, and recently.

Anthony: thank you.

Unknown said...

ps: also, I fail to see how such diagrams are boring in any way.

-anthony docimo

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Anthony: I certainly hope they are not boring to look at, but painting them can be! There are 11 diagrams like that on the spread in question. I have shown two of a seris of eight to illustrate one cycle, and I did three to show variants stressing different parts of the cycle. Some have long slender wings with a low angle of attack, while others 'beat' the air as if they are rowing, and yet others use the turn of the wing around its longitudinal axis to sweep the air down. I could design species on the spot for those those, which was fun. So that spradis done, and I am an 126 finished pages.

Next: 'How cloakfish swim' or 'How spidrids walk'? I will do both anyway...

Hunter Welch said...

Dear Sigmund

I was unsure of any other way to contact you but I was hoping to get your email or some other form of communication. I want to set up an interview with you to talk about your work and also share some of my own work with you. If you have an email or some other way of contacting you please let me know.

Thank you in advance.

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Hunter Welch: you can contact me here; nastrazzurro AT gmail.com
(you would need to replace 'AT' with the appropriate symbol)

kyle said...

could apes evolve powered flight

Unknown said...

Only if you include our helicopters.

-anthony docimo

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

kyle: evolve a monkey that is small for some reason. Think of a reason it needs to jump down from a branch as far away as possible as quickly as possible (perhaps you need to evolve a predator hunting monkeys first). Once you are there, you should have it evolve skin flaps on its arms (that is the relatively easy step). Give it 10 to 20 million years of continuing pressure in the same direction. I doubt you would still call the result a monkey, and actually, Anthony's suggestion is probably the easier one to achieve. But really, such a question is off-topic here; better ask the people at the speculative evolution forum.

anthony (not docimo) said...

With the question of tripods and pentapods arising in the "odd walkers" posts I wonder if a creature with an odd number of wings could fly? Or would it lead to some awkward wobble?

Anonymous said...

This has actually been addressed many times here on the blog - I highly recc a dive through the blog (with or without using a search engine)...highly informative on many topics and a lot of fun.

But in short, Yes, yes it could fly. (also, google "Nereus" aliens outside the blog)

-Anthony Docimo.

Anonymous said...

ps: also, other Anthony, each post has tags which allow for ease of access to more on these topics - tetropters(sp) being one of several topics applicable to your question...as does this one: http://planetfuraha.blogspot.com/search/label/radial%20body%20plan

-anthony docimo

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Anthony (2x): the post in question was actually called "Nereus (or how you can have radial flight with an odd number of wings)". It was posted on 3 January, 2011, or 10 years ago.

By now there is so much material on the blog that I sometimes forget whether I have already written about something. Of course, the search function helps. I have been tempted to extract all posts about biological world building. With editing and expansion that could form a second Book, or Booklet. But would there be a market for it?

Anonymous said...

IMHO, there would most definately be a market for it. Look at things like _The Science of Aliens_ and _The Science of Dune_ or _Last Chance To See_ and _Alien Oceans_...even _The Boilerplate Rhino_

As to The Book itself (Itself?), I forget if I've suggested Yonaglu(sp) Books over at zompist.com as a publisher - you've already got passages about the cultures which develop on Furaha, and you could probably sprinkle in your thoughts on how English or Dutch (etc) have changed over the course of the future.
aaaand now i'm rambling; sorry.

-anthony docimo.

legless cat said...

i wonder if radially symmetric flyers could evolve helicopter style spinning flight. yeah kinda ridiculous but nature has done really weird stuff so eh why not

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

legless cat: you mean a true helicopter-like propulsion, with a rotor that is completely separate from the rest of the body,so there can be no nerves or blood vessels running to it? That is basically the same as why nature has not invented a wheel.

Spugpow said...

You've got radially symmetric swimmers, walkers and flyers--what about burrowers? Is there a possibility of screw spidrids with drill-shaped carapaces twisting through the earth? Otherwise, a more conventional digging strategy using a forward ring of mole-like scoops would still be pretty visually striking.

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Spugpow: I never ever thought of that! I need to let that idea loose in my head for a while and see what comes out. If one does come out, and I decide to paint it,* I'll name it after you. I guess you do not already have a latinised version of your name at hand...

* But I really must concentrate on painting hexapods.

Spugpow said...

It would be an honor!

...Spugpowia?