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Bats actively modulate membrane compliance to control camber and reduce drag

Bats actively modulate membrane compliance to control camber and reduce drag
Bats actively modulate membrane compliance to control camber and reduce drag
Bat wing skin is exceptionally compliant and cambers significantly during flight. Plagiopatagiales proprii, arrays of small muscles embedded in the armwing membrane, are activated during flight and are hypothesized to modulate membrane tension. We examined the function of these muscles using Jamaican fruit bats, Artibeus jamaicensis. When these muscles were paralyzed using botulinum toxin, the bats preferred flight speed decreased and they were unable to fly at very low speeds. Paralysis of the plagiopatagiales also resulted in increased armwing camber consistent with a hypothesized role of modulating aeroelastic interactions. Other compensatory kinematics included increased downstroke angle and increased wingbeat amplitude. These results are consistent with the bats experiencing increased drag and flight power costs associated with the loss of wing-membrane control. Our results indicate that A. jamaicensis likely always employ their wing membrane muscles during sustained flight to control camber and to enhance flight efficiency over a wide flight envelope.
Animal Flight, Artibeus jamaicensis, Membrane actuation, Plagiopatagiales, Wing membrane, Wing morphing
0022-0949
Cheney, Jorn A.
3cf74c48-4eba-4622-9f29-518653d79d93
Rehm, Jeremy C.
ee1d59ab-fbe1-4b87-ae28-fed876b52f12
Swartz, Sharon M.
8112b896-ef39-413e-abed-8d21e9e58cfc
Breuer, Kenneth S.
4135a9b1-05d3-4b83-b25e-b7b9e7f30b46
Cheney, Jorn A.
3cf74c48-4eba-4622-9f29-518653d79d93
Rehm, Jeremy C.
ee1d59ab-fbe1-4b87-ae28-fed876b52f12
Swartz, Sharon M.
8112b896-ef39-413e-abed-8d21e9e58cfc
Breuer, Kenneth S.
4135a9b1-05d3-4b83-b25e-b7b9e7f30b46

Cheney, Jorn A., Rehm, Jeremy C., Swartz, Sharon M. and Breuer, Kenneth S. (2022) Bats actively modulate membrane compliance to control camber and reduce drag. Journal of Experimental Biology, 225 (14), [jeb243974]. (doi:10.1242/jeb.243974).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Bat wing skin is exceptionally compliant and cambers significantly during flight. Plagiopatagiales proprii, arrays of small muscles embedded in the armwing membrane, are activated during flight and are hypothesized to modulate membrane tension. We examined the function of these muscles using Jamaican fruit bats, Artibeus jamaicensis. When these muscles were paralyzed using botulinum toxin, the bats preferred flight speed decreased and they were unable to fly at very low speeds. Paralysis of the plagiopatagiales also resulted in increased armwing camber consistent with a hypothesized role of modulating aeroelastic interactions. Other compensatory kinematics included increased downstroke angle and increased wingbeat amplitude. These results are consistent with the bats experiencing increased drag and flight power costs associated with the loss of wing-membrane control. Our results indicate that A. jamaicensis likely always employ their wing membrane muscles during sustained flight to control camber and to enhance flight efficiency over a wide flight envelope.

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Accepted/In Press date: 22 June 2022
Published date: 14 July 2022
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2022. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Keywords: Animal Flight, Artibeus jamaicensis, Membrane actuation, Plagiopatagiales, Wing membrane, Wing morphing

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 470621
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/470621
ISSN: 0022-0949
PURE UUID: 6984214a-0f75-40f1-9606-6ad52161ffd3
ORCID for Jorn A. Cheney: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9952-2612

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Date deposited: 14 Oct 2022 16:48
Last modified: 15 Oct 2022 02:08

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Contributors

Author: Jorn A. Cheney ORCID iD
Author: Jeremy C. Rehm
Author: Sharon M. Swartz
Author: Kenneth S. Breuer

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