Agriculture
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Springing forward
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Amphibians
Newts
Salamanders
Frogs and Toads
Animals
A Jellyfish's Blurry View
Moss Echoes of Hunting
Insect Stowaways
Behavior
A Global Warming Flap
The Smell of Trust
From dipping to fishing
Birds
Pigeons
Kookaburras
Lovebirds
Chemistry and Materials
Screaming for Ice Cream
Popping to Perfection
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Computers
A Classroom of the Mind
Batteries built by Viruses
Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Dinosaurs and Fossils
From Mammoth to Modern Elephant
Three strikes wiped out woolly mammoths
Have shell, will travel
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Salty, Old and, Perhaps, a Sign of Early Life
Rocking the House
Weird, new ant
Environment
A 'Book' on Every Living Thing
The Birds are Falling
Where rivers run uphill
Finding the Past
A Long Haul
Stone Age Sole Survivors
Sahara Cemetery
Fish
Hammerhead Sharks
Bass
A Jellyfish's Blurry View
Food and Nutrition
Food for Life
Building a Food Pyramid
Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Who vs. That vs. Which
Adjectives and Adverbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Math of the World
It's a Math World for Animals
Human Body
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Teen Brains, Under Construction
What the appendix is good for
Invertebrates
Spiders
Wasps
Lice
Mammals
Rottweilers
Caribou
Bloodhounds
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
Electric Backpack
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Extra Strings for New Sounds
Plants
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Seeds of the Future
Reptiles
Geckos
Garter Snakes
Box Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Melting Snow on Mars
Rover Makes Splash on Mars
A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away
Technology and Engineering
Dancing with Robots
Algae Motors
A Satellite of Your Own
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Reach for the Sky
Ready, unplug, drive
Weather
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Either Martians or Mars has gas
A Change in Climate
Add your Article

An Ancient Feathered Biplane

When the Wright Brothers lifted off at Kitty Hawk in 1903, they flew a plane with two sets of wings, one below the other. Their feat went down in history as the first successful flight by a heavier-than-air aircraft.

New evidence suggests that dinosaurs may have beaten the Wright Brothers to the punch in coming up with a biplane design.

Four years ago, paleontologists described a species of dinosaur from China called Microraptor gui. These dinos were about 3 feet long and feathered. They even had feathers on their legs and feet.

The leg feathers puzzled scientists. Some researchers proposed that the dinosaurs opened their legs into a split when they flew, creating a second set of wings behind the first. None of M. gui‘s closest relatives, however, had hips that were flexible enough to stretch out that far.

Now, two scientists have a new theory of how these creatures glided. Their model proposes that M. gui dangled its legs underneath its body while in the air. This would have created two sets of wings, one below and slightly behind the other. Biplanes that do aerobatic stunts have a similar design.

This drawing shows what the dinosaur might have looked like. The second set of wings (arrows in main image) created when this dinosaur dangled its feathered legs and feet below its body would have provided flight surfaces like those of a modern biplane. T

This drawing shows what the dinosaur might have looked like. The second set of wings (arrows in main image) created when this dinosaur dangled its feathered legs and feet below its body would have provided flight surfaces like those of a modern biplane. T

PNAS

The 19-centimeter-long feathers near the bottom of the animal’s legs support this theory, the scientists say. Their design would have helped keep the feathers from twisting as the dinosaur generated lift.

Based on this model, the scientists say that M. gui probably could not have survived a vertical fall from a tall tree. However, computer flight simulations show that, if the animal took a strong horizontal leap from a branch, its biplane wings could have carried it to other trees at least 40 meters (130 feet) away.

The technique would have made M. gui efficient in the air, but the dinosaurs were probably not very graceful on land. They did not have strong chest muscles, suggesting that they could not take off from the ground. And with such long leg feathers, the animals probably would have tripped all over themselves while walking.—E. Sohn

An Ancient Feathered Biplane
An Ancient Feathered Biplane








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™