HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ancient birds flew on all-fours

The earliest known ancestor of modern-day birds took to the skies by gliding from trees using primitive feathered wings on their arms and legs, according to new research by a University of Calgary paleontologist. In a paper published in the journal Paleobiology, Department of Biological Sciences PhD student Nick Longrich challenges the idea that birds began flying by taking off from the ground while running and shows that the dinosaur-like bird Archaeopteryx soared using wing-like feathers on all of its limbs.

"The discussions about the origins of avian flight have been dominated by the so-called 'ground up' and 'trees down' hypotheses," Longrich said. "This paper puts forward some of the strongest evidence yet that birds descended from arboreal parachuters and gliders, similar to modern flying squirrels."

The first fossil of the Jurassic-era dinosaur Archaeopteryx lithographica was discovered in Germany in 1861, two years after Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in On The Origin of Species. Since then, eight additional specimens have been unearthed and Archaeopteryx is considered the best evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs since it had both feathers and a bird-like wishbone, along with classic reptilian features of a long bony tail, claws and teeth.

Although scientists immediately noticed feather-like structures on the hind limbs, they were dismissed as insulating body feathers that didn't play a role in the animal's flight. It wasn't until several four-winged dinosaurs in China were described in 2002 that researchers began to re-examine Archaeopteryx's legs.

"The idea of a multi-winged Archaeopteryx has been around for more than a century, but it hasn't received much attention," Longrich said. "I believe one reason for this is that people tend to see what they want or expect to see. Everybody knows that birds don't have four wings, so we overlooked them even when they were right under our noses."


'"/>

Contact: Grady Semmens
gsemmens@ucalgary.ca
403-220-7722
University of Calgary
22-Sep-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Ancient retrovirus sheds light on modern pandemic
2. Ancient Etruscans were immigrants from Anatolia, or what is now Turkey
3. Ancient DNA traces the woolly mammoths disappearance
4. Ancient amphibians evolved a bite before migrating to dry land
5. Ancient T. rex and mastodon protein fragments discovered, sequenced
6. Ancient coral reef tells the history of Kenyas soil erosion
7. Ancient genes used to produce salt-tolerant wheat
8. Ancient climate change may portend toasty future
9. Ancient ape ruled out of mans ancestral line
10. Ancient predator had strongest bite of any fish, rivaling bite of large alligators and T. rex
11. Ancient raptors likely feasted on early man, study suggests

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/15/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Serialization deadlines in the US and European ... aggregation becomes fully applied in the United States in 2023, pharmaceutical companies are ... now, most regulations?including the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)?have required minimal system ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... ... 14, 2019 , ... Representatives with MyBioGate announced that China Focus@Biotech Week will ... “We help innovative projects connect with Chinese pharma and investors in healthcare innovation,” said ... to explain that as a part of Biotech Week Boston – the annual biotech ...
(Date:8/6/2019)... ... August 06, 2019 , ... A study released today ... have far-reaching implications for personalized medicine, especially when seeking treatments for children with ... predict which stem cell donors and manipulation methods might yield the best therapies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/11/2019)... ... July 11, 2019 , ... At the most recent stem ... to eight military Veterans under the R3 Heroes Program. The Veterans included individuals and ... Heroes Program allow anyone to nominate a military Veteran, teacher or first responder to ...
(Date:7/9/2019)... , ... July 08, 2019 , ... ... The company’s SmartLight Indicator was recognized as the 2019 Innovative Product of the ... forward. The prestigious awards were during Sensors Expo & Conference 2019, ...
(Date:6/26/2019)... ... June 26, 2019 , ... Alice Branton today released research results ... properties of Magnesium Gluconate, which can prove to be beneficial for treating Hypomagnesemia. , ... differentiation peak, change in crystallite size , Over 142% increase in particle ...
(Date:6/18/2019)... ... ... Personalized Stem Cells, Inc (“PSC”), a human adipose-derived stem cell company, ... a person’s own adipose-derived stem cells to treat their osteoarthritis. The first clinical trial ... is the first of several planned clinical trials which will enable qualified PSC-enrolled physicians ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: