HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
New study suggests missing link that explains how dinosaurs learned to fly

Arlington, Va.-- Two-legged dinosaurs may have used their forelimbs as wing-like structures to propel themselves rapidly up steep inclines long before they took to the skies, reports a University of Montana researcher in the January 17 issue of the journal Science. The new theory adds a middle step that may link two current and opposing explanations for how reptiles evolved into flying birds.

According to Kenneth Dial, author of the report, the transition from ground travel to flight may have required a "ramp-up" phase in which rapid movement of the animals' front appendages actually forced its body downward to gain more foot traction as it made its way up increasingly vertical slopes.

"The big dilemma has been, 'How do you explain the partial wing?,'" says Dial, who is a professor of vertebrate morphology and ecology. "It turns out the proto-wings--precursors to wings birds have today--actually acted more like a spoiler on the back of a race car to keep the animal sure-footed even while climbing up nearly vertical surfaces," he said.

"The development and role of movement in animals is critical to every aspect of their lives, " says William Zamer of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the agency that funded the study. "The results may also one day help humans design better vehicles for both land and air travel."

NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education in all fields of science and engineering.

The evolution of flying vertebrates has been a bone of contention since the 1800's. One school, which embraced the cursorial theory, argued that two-legged, ground-dwelling animals developed feathered wings that allowed them to become airborne. The opposing school, which favored the arboreal theory, held that flight originated in tree-dwelling animals that leapt from limb to limb and eventually developed gliding structures to soften their landings. For a century-and-a-half, each ca
'"/>

Contact: Leslie Fink
lfink@nsf.gov
703-292-8070
National Science Foundation
16-Jan-2003


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Student science contest participation influences study, career choices, alumni say
2. New study shows hope for treating inhalant abuse
3. International study findings link acne-like rash to effectiveness of new targeted cancer treatment
4. Cigarette smoke causes breaks in DNA and defects to a cells chromosomes, Pitt study finds
5. New study indicates arsenic could be suitable as first-line treatment in type of leukaemia
6. Phase II trials of second-generation antisense cancer drug planned following successful early study
7. Preclinical safety study shows adipose-derived stem cells improve heart function after heart attack
8. Indiana University, EPA to study airborne PCBs
9. K-State, other universities to study how climate affects plant evolution
10. USC study links historical increases in life span to lower childhood exposure to infection
11. Washington University in St. Louis leads group studying aging process

Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/24/2014)... central Africa in mid-July 2014, as the annual fire ... indicate areas of increased temperatures, are heavily sprinkled across ... the Congo (northeast), and Zambia (southeast). Thick gray smoke ... areas, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ... The fire season is an annual event in this ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... a new drug that successfully treated lupus in mice, a ... $250,000 grant to expand his research to a new version ... range of autoimmune diseases., Chandra Mohan, Hugh Roy and Lillie ... published a study in Arthritis Research & Therapy outlining the ... mice and reduced the number of cases of lupus-related kidney ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... eye doctors and scientists from Singapore have developed Asia,s ... of eye disease that affects the cornea called corneal ... of vision. , Called the POLARIS TGFBI (Transforming ... designed to aid in the diagnosis and management of ... family members carrying a TGFBI mutation who may also ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Biomedical engineer looks at new applications for novel lupus drug 2Biomedical engineer looks at new applications for novel lupus drug 3Singapore team develops Asia's first genetic test that can prevent corneal blindness 2Singapore team develops Asia's first genetic test that can prevent corneal blindness 3
(Date:7/24/2014)... equipment, trained personnel, and detection dogs to safeguard ... A revolutionary new electronic chip with nano-sized chemical ... easier. , The groundbreaking nanotechnology-inspired sensor, devised by ... School of Chemistry and Center for Nanoscience and ... picks up the scent of explosives molecules better ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... prefer to settle into equilibriuma state of unchanging ... realm of non-equilibrium conditions where new possibilities lie. ... phases, such as temperature fluctuations, freezing and melting, ... their body temperature, airplanes to fly, and the ... But even though these conditions exist naturally and ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... 2014 SRI International has been awarded a ... of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the ... potential therapies for HIV infection and AIDS. The contract ... AIDS and the complications and opportunistic infections associated with ... transmission of HIV. According to the ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... 24, 2014  Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG ... its potential revenue from new rodenticide research are premature. ... analysts on July 22, 2014, Neogen,s CEO commented about ... research. "It was my intent Tuesday at ... of a new type of rodenticide, but certainly not ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Nano-sized chip 'sniffs out' explosives far better than trained dogs 2New approach to form non-equilibrium structures 2National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Awards SRI International Contract to Study New Therapies for HIV and AIDS 2National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Awards SRI International Contract to Study New Therapies for HIV and AIDS 3Neogen comments on SenesTech 2
Cached News: