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Tipsheet

Scientists Are Turning Dead Birds Into Drones

Scientists in New Mexico are converting dead birds that were preserved through taxidermy into drones to study flight patterns.

The research team led by Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology began converting the taxidermied birds into drones after “mechanical birds had not given the results he was looking for,” according to a report from Reuters.

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"We came up with this idea that we can use ... dead birds and make them (into) a drone," Hassanalian told the outlet. "Everything is there ... we do reverse engineering."

The bird drones are currently being tested in a purpose-built cage. The birds can monitor the flight patterns of flocks and be applied to the aviation industry, Hassanalian said. 

"If we learn how these birds manage ... energy between themselves, we can apply (that) into the future aviation industry to save more energy and save more fuel," he said.

Reportedly, the bird drone prototype can only fly for a maximum of 20 minutes. Scientists are working on drones that can fly longer and perform tests among live birds. 

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According to Insider, there is a conspiracy theory called “Birds Aren’t Real,” the believes that birds in the sky are drones put in place by the government. 

“[You] all called us crazy and we will never forget,” the Birds Aren’t Real account shared on Twitter.

Hassanalian told Insider that his project was not inspired by the theory. 

"I actually did not know about the people of 'The birds aren't real,'" Hassanalian told Insider. "I found out about them once my story came out for the first time." 

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