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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2016 Dec;41:158-166. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2016.09.008. Epub 2016 Oct 4.

Neurobiology and biomechanics of flight in miniature insects.

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National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, GKVK Campus, Bellary Road, Bangalore 560065, India. Electronic address:


Miniature insects can be as small as a few hundred micrometres in size, making them among the smallest metazoan animals ever described. Yet, even at these length scales, they display remarkably sophisticated flight behaviours. For flight at such low Reynolds numbers, miniature insects have evolved biomechanical and neural adaptations that push the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of physics and neurobiology of flight. After several decades of relative dormancy, this question has recently been revisited by researchers working in diverse areas ranging from systematics and neurobiology to dispersal behaviours. In this review, I cover recent findings in this area, and point towards the many open questions that still remain unanswered.

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