Look, ghost, no wings.
An Andean condor, one of the largest flying birds on the planet, soars through the air for 100 miles (172 km) and doesn't bother with flapping its wings. This great example of flight comes to us from a group headed by researchers at Swansea University in the UK.
Scientists have in-depth look at the relationship between environmental conditions and the amount of effort the big birds make in their flight. To do this, they attached a data recorder to Andean wires that allowed them to log each wing as well as the bird's flight.
Research, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discovered that the Andean conductor only flapped its wings for about 1% of the flight time. Most of that happens during takeoff and when flying near the ground.
The guide's towering endurance is impressive, but these heavy birds have to choose their battle when it comes to …