Maple seed flight path

Maple seed flight path

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Credit: DAVID LENTINK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Maple seed flight path. Multi-flash photo composition of a maple seed (Acer sp.) spinning as it falls. Maple seeds are attached to the tree in pairs. When they are pulled off the tree by a gust of wind the pair are also pulled apart. As the individual seeds fall they begin to spin around their centre of gravity, which is located in the nut (small hard lump at one end of the seed). The spinning slows down the decent of the seed, allowing it to be carried further away from the tree.

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Keywords: acer sp, airborne, autorotation, biological, biology, botanical, botany, centre of gravity, composite, downward, falling, flora, green background, helical, helicopter-like, helix, key, maple, motion, movement, multi-flash photo composition, nature, plant, reproduction, rotating, rotation, rotor, seed, seed dispersal, spin, spinning, spiral, spiralling, wind dispersal, winged

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