Researchers Trying To Find Out How Dinosaurs Flew, Placed Fake Wings On An Ostrich

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According to a new study, winged dinosaurs might have been the ancestors of today’s birds. From the time that a fossil similar to a bird of an Archaeopteryx​ dinosaur has been unearthed in 1861, scientists have questioned and theorized the birds’ beginning of the flight. Researchers have now developed a crucial move that might have allowed the winged dinosaurs to fly.

The two-legged dinosaurs may have fluttered their wings while running, the study, released and published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology on Thursday implies. Caudipteryx​, a dinosaur that couldn’t fly but had ‘proto-wings’ which were feathered (in essence were half-wings), and had a weight of around 11 pounds, being able to run at about 18 miles per hour was the object of analysis of a research team.

Researchers put fake wings on an ostrich to learn how dinosaurs flew

This species of dinosaurs were about 3 feet tall, having the size of a peacock, and existed in the Cretaceous Period, sometime around 122 million and 130 million years ago. Because of their tail end which looked like a blade of feathers, they were named what it means ‘tail feather’.

Researchers investigated how running would impact the proto-wings of a Caudipteryx: if it was running somewhere between 5.5 and 13 miles per hour, its wings would start to flap because of the vibrations, the study says. A robot the size of a Caudipteryx structure has been designed by researchers in order to further investigate and explore their theory, and it was set to run on a treadmill. As they estimated and computed, the flapping action of the wings at specific speeds was proved.