The Thermodynamics of Bird Migration, Simulated in a Virtual World Based on Seasonal Migration Patterns of 10K Bird Species
Fascinating article from Quanta Magazine about some recent science looking at the metabolism, reproduction, thermal regulation, and migration needs of virtual species based on real-world data to understand why some birds annually migrate thousands of miles and others barely leave their neighborhood. Fascinating I say!
Every year, flocks of tiny white birds embark on an arduous, zigzagging journey from Greenland to Antarctica and then back again, flying more than 44,000 miles. In its lifetime, each of these arctic terns covers a distance equivalent to three or four round trips to the moon. Meanwhile, the dusky grouse, which lives at the edges of forests in mountainous regions of North America, travels but a fraction of a mile between its breeding grounds and its regular habitat. The great majority of bird species don’t migrate at all.
According to a study published in today’s issue of Nature Ecology & Evolution, those wild differences in migration patterns — and the resulting distribution of bird species around the world — reflect the efforts of those species to maintain an optimal energy balance within their competitive environments. The research makes a forceful argument that energy supply and demand is a driving ecological principle shaping the global structure of biodiversity. It also presents a powerful tool that environmental scientists and ecologists can use to predict how human activity will rapidly change that structure.
No spoilers, but,
Eventually, the virtual world filled up with these species — and the final distribution of virtual species closely resembled the scientists’ empirical data about the distribution of real birds today.
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.