Friday, October 09, 2015

The Early Flight Ability of Birds

Soft-tissue and dermal arrangement in the wing of an Early Cretaceous bird: Implications for the evolution of avian flight. 2015.

Hawkman © DC Comics
Some of the most ancient birds were capable of performing aerodynamic feats in a manner similar to many living birds based on the study of a well-preserved right wing of a 125-million-year-old bird from central Spain.
This new fossil preserves not only the articulated bones of the forelimb but also abundant remains of the plumage and of the soft-tissues of the wing. It matches anatomically with a complex network of ligaments, muscles and tendons present in modern-day birds. This network ensures the position and controls the fine adjustments of the wing's main feathers, allowing living birds to fly efficiently and master the sky. PR