KASHMIR ACADEMY/PROGRAMS

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FLYING CREATURES

At Kashmir Academey during the Flying Creature module, students have an opportunity to learn about flight the way Leonardo da Vinci did, by observing nature and evaluating the underlying physics, engineering, embedded systems and sensors. 

BIRDS     INSECTS     FISH     MAMMALS     REPTILES

BIRDS

 

Owl Power on PBS

Premiere date: February 18, 2015

For centuries, owls have been featured in children’s books and folk tales capturing imaginations the world over. With their haunting calls and charismatic faces, these birds remain popular but mysterious because it’s rare to catch more than a glimpse of one in the wild. Unlike their cousins, the hawks, eagles and falcons, owls are the only bird of prey able to also hunt effectively at night when they have the skies to themselves. This has helped them become one of the most successful birds on earth, but the chief reason is due to their extraordinary super powers. To examine these special skills, filmmakers enlisted the help of veteran bird handlers, experts and technology to demonstrate and test the owl’s amazing abilities.

A Murder of Crows

Premiere date: October 24, 2010

Although cultures around the world may regard the crow as a scavenger, bad omen, or simply a nuisance, this bad reputation might overshadow what could be regarded as the crow’s most striking characteristic – its intelligence. New research indicates that crows are among the brightest animals in the world. NATURE’s A Murder of Crows brings you these so-called feathered apes, as you have never seen them before.

 

Crows live everywhere in the world except Antarctica and are a part of myths and legends in many cultures. Their reputation in the stories varies from comical to frightening, godlike or wise, bringers of light and bringers of death, though a “murder” of crows refers to a flock of crows, and not to anything murderous, at all. They may be all these things, but what we are learning is that they are especially smart.

Super Hummingbirds

Premiere date: October 12, 2016 

Hummingbirds are amazing creatures to behold. They are the tiniest of birds, yet possess natural born super powers that enable them to fly backwards, upside-down, and float in mid-air. Their wings beat faster than the eye can see and the speed at which they travel makes people wonder if it was indeed a hummingbird they actually saw. They also are only found in the Americas. These attributes have both intrigued scientists and made it challenging to study the species, but with the latest high-speed cameras and other technologies, Super Hummingbirds reveals new scientific breakthroughs about these magical birds.

 

Hummers may be the smallest birds in the world, but what they lack in size, they make up in speed and the ability to adapt in ways we’re just beginning to learn about as they continue to evolve.

Condor Flight School

Premiere date: September 25, 2013

The largest raptors in the world, Andean condors care for offspring for 2 years until the young bird is old enough to survive on its own. In this scene from EARTHFLIGHT: South America, a male condor teaches its six-month-old chick to fly in Patagonia. After the male demonstrates, the youngster makes a few attempts before finally taking to the sky.

Starling Aerial Acrobatics

Premiere date: September 18, 2013

Each winter evening, attracted by the heat of the city, 5 million starlings stream into Rome. Before the birds roost, their maneuvers create mesmerizing aerial displays. These flying formations help the starlings confuse an attacking peregrine falcon. To achieve synchronicity, each bird shadows seven of its nearest neighbors. Their reflexes react 10 times faster than any human pilot.

FISH

 

Helping Fruit Bats Orphans

Premiere date: November 15, 2015

While the flying fish's ability to jump out of the water helps them avoid dorado fish, it makes them vulnerable to frigate birds flying overhead.

INSECTS

 

Dragonflies see the world in slow motion

Premiere date: January 2, 2016

Many animals have extraordinary senses, allowing them to pick up things that humans are completely oblivious to.

The video above, from Super Senses, reveals how sensitive dragonflies are to fast-moving objects. Where we would only see a blur, or nothing at all, they see exactly what is happening.

MAMMALS

 

Helping Fruit Bats Orphans

Premiere date: September 23, 2015

Bev Brown devotes her time to helping fruit bat orphans in Melbourne, Australia, to survive the crucial first four months until they are weaned and able to be released. As surrogate mother, Brown tucks her bats in specially designed blankets to simulate how they would be wrapped up in their mother’s wings, bottle-feeds them milk and grooms them daily.

A Flying Squirrel's Greatest Threat

Premiere dates: Wild Flyers June 29-July 13, 2016

Flying squirrels can find food fast in winter and short flights help them avoid predatory owls. The perfect gliders! 

REPTILE

 

Flying Snake's Secret Revealed

Premiere date: January 30, 2014

A study has revealed exactly how gliding snakes [genus Chrysopelea] contort their bodies to cover a great deal of ground after leaping into the air.

When it leaps off a high tree branch, it rotates its ribs forwards and upwards, making its body double in width. This transforms it into a much flatter, aerodynamic shape similar to an airplane wing. It moves its head back and forth, which passes waves down its body like its swimming in air. Professor Jake Socha carried out the study by creating a plastic copy of the snake's cross section and placing it in a tank of flowing water and gathering data on the way the water moves around it using lasers and high-speed cameras.

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