The front sharp nose cone design of the train was inspired by the kingfisher’s aerodynamic beak. A common problem in high-speed trains is the loud noises produced when passing through tunnels. As a train exits a tunnel, compressed air suddenly expands creating a loud sonic boom -this noise can rattle for miles and would definitely be a form of noise pollution. To solve this problem train experts studied the kingfisher – watching its perfectly designed beak for fishing. Being able to dive straight down into water, with very little splash is an example of an evolutionary adaption of creating little differences in pressure when travelling at fast speeds – that, similarly caused by bullet trains.
The plumage of owls has evolved to reduce air resistance and noise, which has been used as an important factor during design of the train. The feathers of the owl are known as ‘saw-toothed wave feathers’ designed to generate small vortexes in the airflow that then further breaks up larger vortexes – thus reducing noise.
A breakthrough in hearing aids has recently been announced on the development of a microphone that can pinpoint exactly where the source of sound is coming from. We know that those with hearing aids so far, could not really gauge the direction of the sound.
Scientist studing the parasitic fly called Ormia ochracea made an amzing discovery. An evolutionary adaptation of a bridge of protein linking its eardrums provides this fly with exceptional hearing. This special bridge rocks up and down, amplifying the differences in the sound waves that arrive in each ear – allowing the fly to detect the slightest differences and receives a better directional signal.
This new fly microphone is eight times more effective at analysing the direction of the stimulus, then the current hearing aid.