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The Toucan, engineering at its purest.

For the first time ever, the toucan’s beak has been the object of a detailed engineering study. The conclusions of the study revealed that the beak of this bird is lightweight, extraordinarily hard wearing and offers optimum resistance.   Marc A. Meyers, Professor of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering has shown that the secret behind the strength and lightness of the toucan’s beak is an unusual compound that could be applied to the design of ultra light aircraft and parts for vehicles based on synthetic foam made from metals and polymers. 
Da Vinci and his birds of a feather…

In the early 16th century, Leonardo da Vinci’s analysis of the flight of birds led him to anticipate several designs that would later allow for major progress in the development of the aviation sector such as the propeller or parachute. He was also the first to apply scientific techniques to the development of his ideas, and came up with three different devices: the ornithopter (a wing-flapping device); the helicopter (designed to move off the ground by means of a rotor blade situated on the vertical axis); and the glider, in which the pilot was attached to a rigid structure with wings, similar to those of large birds.  
Bird power.

Large birds use up extra energy when taking off, whilst the smaller species use it in order to retain body heat. This means that both types of bird are designed to supply their bodies with energy. They are warm blooded creatures, and need to keep their body temperature constant. Birds find natural solutions to their energy problems: all their internal organs work at high speed, and although this shortens their lifespan, it allows for the generation of high levels of energy

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