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Science Briefing

A secret of flight is unlocked

April 11, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Thanks to high-speed film and some persistent scientists, one secret of flight has been revealed: When birds, bats or bugs make a turn, all they have to do is start flapping their wings normally again and they straighten right out.

That came as a surprise to researchers who thought turning and stopping took more steps. The process is the same for animals of all sizes from the fruit fly to the bat to the cockatoo.

The findings were reported in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

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