flight

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flight

(flīt)
1. The motion of an object through air.
2. Escape.
[O.E. flyht]

flight

any locomotion through air, either active or passive (gliding). Active flight is brought about by the movement of wings by muscles as in bats, birds and insects; gliding involves a minimum of muscular effort and is found only in some larger birds and certain mammals adapted for flight, such as the flying lemur or flying fox. In birds, muscles are attached directly to the wings and are of two main types: depressor muscles which produce the downstroke and run from the humerus to the STERNUM, and elevator muscles which produce the upstroke and are attached to the upper surface of the HUMERUS by a tendon which runs through the pectoral girdle to the sternum. In insects such as bees, wasps, flies, beetles and bugs, the muscles raising and lowering the wing are attached to the walls of the thorax (indirect flight muscles) and not to the wings and are called asynchronous fibrillar muscles. Direct flight muscles attached to the wings alter the angle and adjust the wings to the resting position. In other insects, for example, the dragonflies, the flight muscles are called synchronous muscles, being attached directly to the wings. Asynchronous wing beats are much slower than synchronous ones.
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