Flapping baby birds reveal origin of first flight
A new study has revealed a piece of evidence about the origin of flight among earliest birds suggesting that birds had an innate ability to maneuver in midair that helped their ancestors learn to fly.
Researchers from University of California, Berkeley, found that even ungainly, day-old baby birds successfully used their flapping wings to right themselves when they fell from a nest, a skill that improved with age until they became coordinated and graceful flyers.
Researcher Robert Dudley said that from day one, post-hatching, 25 percent of those birds could basically rolled in midair and landed on their feet when dropped, suggesting that even rudimentary wings could serve a very useful aerodynamic purpose.
Researcher Dennis Evangelista said that the results highlighted the importance of maneuvering and control in development and evolution of flight in birds.
The study is published in the online journal Biology Letters.
(Posted on 29-08-2014)