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Why don’t flies fly in a straight line? © Getty Images

Why don’t flies fly in a straight line?

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Some might say they are the fighter pilots of the insect world.

Asked by: Kenneth Bailey, Belfast


To escape from predators, flies have evolved a highly aerobatic flying style. Instead of turning by flapping harder with one wing than the other, they roll their body to one side and pull up, like a fighter pilot in a high-G turn. Random zig-zags like this make it much harder for birds to get a ‘missile lock’ on them.

Why are flies attracted to bad smells? © Getty Images


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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