For some strange reason up until now, there hadn’t been any research that contains measurements of wing performance associated with its morphometry for identifying the characteristics of flight in flying fish. Engineers and not biologists took a keen interest in doing the research. Haecheon Choi, who is a Korean mechanical engineer was reading a book about flying fish to his children when the idea came about. Then Choi and a colleague Hyungmin Park came up with an experiment.
Science daily describes it…
“…getting hold of flying fish to test in a wind tunnel turned out to be easier said than done. After travelling to Japan to try to buy fish from the world famous Tsukiji fish market, the duo eventually struck up a collaboration with the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives of Korea.”
“Calculating the flying fish’s lift-to-drag ratios — a measure of the horizontal distance travelled relative to the descent in height during a glide — Choi and Park found that the flying fish performed remarkably well: gliding better than insects and as well as birds such as petrels and wood ducks. And when they analysed how the fish’s lift-to-drag ratio changed as they varied the tilt angle, the duo found that the ratio was highest and the fish glided furthest when they were parallel to the surface, which is exactly what they do above the ocean.”
“Measuring the airborne fish’s pitching moment, the duo also found that the fish were very stable as they glided. However, when they analysed the stability of the fish with its fins swept back in the swimming position it was unstable, which is exactly what you need for aquatic manoeuvrability. So flying fish are superbly adapted for life in both environments.”
It’s great reporting on true science being performed which is not depended upon Darwinian speculation. Notice the curiosity on how it worked, making observations, asking questions, researching existing science papers, proposing an experiment, gathering specimens, designing equipment to test the fish, running the operation while gathering data, publishing the results to help humanity.
Evolutionary theory was of no use in this discovery, but the authors had to give a minor mention about it, “the flying fish has evolved to have good aerodynamic designs…” but sparing us on how they imagined it supposedly evolved into the design by a mindless process which would have been been no help at all in understanding the creature’s ability. Other than that, it was all about design and not evolution. This is a clear example of design-focused research producing good science!