Agriculture
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Seeds of the Future
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Newts
Toads
Animals
Bee Heat Cooks Invaders
Cannibal Crickets
Polar Bears in Trouble
Behavior
Diving, Rolling, and Floating, Alligator Style
The Colorful World of Synesthesia
Internet Generation
Birds
Ibises
Emus
Owls
Chemistry and Materials
The metal detector in your mouth
Butterfly Wings and Waterproof Coats
Mother-of-Pearl on Ice
Computers
Graphene's superstrength
Fingerprint Evidence
Computers with Attitude
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
Digging Dinos
Dino-Dining Dinosaurs
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Ancient Heights
Recipe for a Hurricane
Detecting an Eerie Sea Glow
Environment
Pollution Detective
The Birds are Falling
Power of the Wind
Finding the Past
Early Maya Writing
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Fish
Trout
Piranha
Carp
Food and Nutrition
Sponges' secret weapon
The Essence of Celery
Making good, brown fat
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Who vs. Whom
Adjectives and Adverbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Scholarship
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Human Body
Flu Patrol
Heavy Sleep
Cell Phone Tattlers
Invertebrates
Giant Squid
Jellyfish
Bedbugs
Mammals
Manatees
Numbats
Weasels and Kin
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Speedy stars
Plants
Stalking Plants by Scent
Nature's Alphabet
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Reptiles
Crocodilians
Cobras
Turtles
Space and Astronomy
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
Icy Red Planet
No Fat Stars
Technology and Engineering
Searching for Alien Life
A Clean Getaway
Smart Windows
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Robots on the Road, Again
Where rivers run uphill
Weather
Arctic Melt
Recipe for a Hurricane
Either Martians or Mars has gas
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™