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Offline Paulinu

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« on: 21/11/2007 22:57:42 »
How high up can a bird fly (without going out of the atmosphere)without undergoing an immense pressure change that will physically disable/change the bird? I have always wanted to know this ♥


 

Offline Paulinu

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« Reply #1 on: 21/11/2007 22:58:04 »
=D
 

Offline Paulinu

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« Reply #2 on: 21/11/2007 23:01:34 »
...D=
 

Offline WylieE

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« Reply #3 on: 02/12/2007 03:49:14 »
Wow, I was really surprised how high they can fly. .
This article says that a flock of Whooper Swans was seen as high as 29,000 feet. 

http://www.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/How_Fast.html


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Most birds fly below 500 feet except during migration. There is no reason to expend the energy to go higher -- and there may be dangers, such as exposure to higher winds or to the sharp vision of hawks. When migrating, however, birds often do climb to relatively great heights, possibly to avoid dehydration in the warmer air near the ground. Migrating birds in the Caribbean are mostly observed around 10,000 feet, although some are found half and some twice that high. Generally long-distance migrants seem to start out at about 5,000 feet and then progressively climb to around 20,000 feet. Just like jet aircraft, the optimum cruise altitude of migrants increases as their "fuel" is used up and their weight declines. Vultures sometimes rise over 10,000 feet in order to scan larger areas for food (and to watch the behavior of distant vultures for clues to the location of a feast). Perhaps the most impressive altitude record is that of a flock of Whooper Swans which was seen on radar arriving over Northern Ireland on migration and was visually identified by an airline pilot at 29,000 feet. Birds can fly at altitudes that would be impossible for bats, since bird lungs can extract a larger fraction of oxygen from the air than can mammal lungs.

 

another_someone

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« Reply #4 on: 02/12/2007 04:05:26 »
http://www.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/How_Fast.html
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Birds can fly at altitudes that would be impossible for bats, since bird lungs can extract a larger fraction of oxygen from the air than can mammal lungs.

That is interesting, given that birds are considered to be modern descendants of dinosaurs, and dinosaurs lived in a time when there was a greater availability of oxygen, and so one would have expected them to not have required such efficient lungs (unless the efficiency of the lungs was required because of the massive body size).
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #5 on: 02/12/2007 04:07:54 »
Wow That is really high!..What if they were higher what risks would they begin to encouter at that pont... would lungs collapse or what..The air gets thinner so would that be the first effect on the lungs..
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #6 on: 02/12/2007 04:08:27 »
So they can actually be pretty efficient with less oxygen?
 

Offline WylieE

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« Reply #7 on: 02/12/2007 04:49:18 »
That is interesting, given that birds are considered to be modern descendants of dinosaurs, and dinosaurs lived in a time when there was a greater availability of oxygen, and so one would have expected them to not have required such efficient lungs (unless the efficiency of the lungs was required because of the massive body size).

Here's an interesting article that dinosaurs may have had very efficient use of oxygen too (I was thinking along the same lines and looking up this).  This article quotes Dr. Peter Ward as suggesting that since dinosaurs really began in a period of low oxygen levels they may have had more efficient use of oxygen than mammals and this may have helped the dinosaurs thrive through two major extinction periods. 

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2003/980837.htm
 

Offline WylieE

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« Reply #8 on: 02/12/2007 04:51:42 »
So they can actually be pretty efficient with less oxygen?

Yes, the guys that flew up over Everest (~29,000ft) had to take special oxygen tanks and wouldn't have survived without them, but here are some Whooper Swans exercising up at that altitude.
 

Offline WylieE

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« Reply #9 on: 02/12/2007 04:56:38 »
Wow That is really high!..What if they were higher what risks would they begin to encouter at that pont... would lungs collapse or what..The air gets thinner so would that be the first effect on the lungs..

Well, even if I could breathe up there, say with an oxygen tank, I'd be really, really cold. 
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #10 on: 02/12/2007 04:57:47 »
Also exceeding this altitude in the Himalayas are geese. Swans are not alone.
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #11 on: 03/12/2007 00:13:33 »
Wow That is really high!..What if they were higher what risks would they begin to encouter at that pont... would lungs collapse or what..The air gets thinner so would that be the first effect on the lungs..

Well, even if I could breathe up there, say with an oxygen tank, I'd be really, really cold. 

I did not even think about the cold!
 

Offline WylieE

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« Reply #12 on: 04/12/2007 06:23:19 »
I did- It's FREEZING here (at ground level even)
 

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« Reply #12 on: 04/12/2007 06:23:19 »

 

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