Portugal explains that this is a much more elaborate and sophisticated process than his team had expected, and that it seems like it’s almost self-taught. But how do they all learn to do it? And how has V formation flight become so successful? Scientists don’t know yet, but they’re not waiting in the wings to find out.

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Photo credits: Markus Unsöld and kopernikus1966/Flickr (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0)

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