[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

Contact: Kathy Svitil
California Institute of Technology

Video of Tornado-like Vortex on Top of a Freely Flying Maple Seed

Loading video...

Caption: Smoke particles illuminated with laser light around a freely flying maple seed reveal a prominent leading edge vortex. The visualization of the leading edge vortex on this and 31 other specimens of maple seeds show that the robotic model maple seeds accurately predicted the presence of a strong tornado-like vortex on top of maple seed wings, that elevates the lift generated by autorotating plant seeds and increases their dispersal distance from the tree.

Credit: Movie courtesy of David Lentink

Usage Restrictions: credit must be given as "Movie courtesy of David Lentink" (Please contact David Lentink for questions about broadcast quality video: david.lentink@wur.nl)

Related news release: Maple seeds and animals exploit the same trick to fly

[ Back to EurekAlert! ]