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Data from: How oscillating aerodynamic forces explain the timbre of the hummingbird's hum and other animals in flapping flight

Citation

Hightower, Ben et al. (2021), Data from: How oscillating aerodynamic forces explain the timbre of the hummingbird's hum and other animals in flapping flight, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.73n5tb2vs

Abstract

The source of the hummingbird's distinctive hum is not fully understood, but there are clues to its origin in the acoustic nearfield. Hence we studied six freely hovering Anna’s hummingbirds, performing acoustic nearfield holography using a 2176 microphone array in vivo, while also directly measuring the 3D aerodynamic forces using a new aerodynamic force platform. We corroborate the acoustic measurements by developing a first-principles acoustic model that integrates the aerodynamic forces with wing kinematics, which shows how the timbre of the hummingbird’s hum arises from the oscillating lift and drag forces on each wing. Comparing birds and insects, we find that the characteristic humming timbre and radiated power of their flapping wings originates from the higher harmonics in the aerodynamic forces that support their bodyweight. Our model analysis across insects and birds shows that allometric deviation makes larger birds quieter and elongated flies louder, while also clarifying complex bioacoustic behavior.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: 1552419