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Physics Colloquium: "When Birds Attack: visual ecology, pursuit-evasion games & raptor hunting strategies"

SpeakerSuzanne Amador Kane, Haverford College, Haverford PA
Date May 7, 2014
Time 4:00 pm  
Location 141 Loomis
Cost None
Sponsor Physics Department
Contact Marjorie Gamel
Phone 217-333-3762
Event type Seminar/Symposium
Views 5029
Originating Calendar Physics - Colloquium

In this talk, I present results from experiments on falcons and goshawks wearing miniature videocameras mounted on their backs or heads while pursuing flying or ground-based prey.  Videos of hunts recorded by the raptors were analyzed to determine apparent prey positions on their visual fields during pursuits.  These video data then were interpreted using computer simulations of pursuit steering laws observed in insects and mammals.  A comparison of the empirical and modeling data indicates that falcons use cues due to the apparent motion of prey on the falcon’s visual field to track and capture flying prey via a form of motion camouflage.  The falcons also were found to maintain their prey’s image at visual angles consistent with using their binocular visual field.  Results for goshawks were analyzed for a comparative study of how pursuits of ground-based prey differ from those used by falcons chasing flying prey.  These results should prove relevant for understanding the coevolution of pursuit and evasion, as well as the development of computer models of predation on flocks,vand the integration of sensory and locomotion systems in biomimetic robots.




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