Heading towards the future, by boat


It is late afternoon and the starlings — small birds that live in flocks in the north of England — organize themselves into their so-called murmuration. It goes beyond a song, or the characteristic noise of the synchronized wings flapping. It’s more than that; like a dance, before resting after a full day of hunting for food in the winter days, they connect together in light, choreographed movements. It is also unclear what causes these birds to initiate such a dance, however, physicists and biologists believe that each one, when moving, stimulates seven others to do the same around them, in a continuous progression. Soon, the seven become forty-nine, forty-nine become thousands, and a spectacle is created in the skies. They also become stronger and easily scare off hawks, the main predators of the species, fast in flight and up to four times larger.

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