Pintail

Fossil Fancy Tail Feathers

Fossil fancy tail feathers found, according to reports in ScienceDaily and Field Museum of Natural History Chicago 16 September 2021 and Current Biology 16 September 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.08.044. Chinese and American scientists have studied the fossil of an extinct bird found in the Jehol Biota in northeastern China. The fossil has been named Yuanchuavis kompsosoura […]

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Bats Flying

Bats Born Knowing Speed of Sound

Bats born knowing speed of sound, according to reports in ScienceDaily 5 May 2021 and ScienceAlert 6 May 2021, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 5 May 2021 doi: 10.1073/pnas.2024352118.  Echolocating bats work out how far away an object or landing place is by using the time taken for sounds to bounce off […]

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Pterosaur at Jurassic Ark

A Pterosaur Neck is Like a Bicycle

A pterosaur neck is like a bicycle reports Cell Press via SciTech Daily and ScienceDaily 14 April 2021, and iScience 14 April 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102338. Azhdarchid pterosaurs were the largest flying animals that ever lived, with a wingspan of up to 10 metres (33ft) and “ridiculously long necks” that could be longer than a giraffe […]

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Dragonfly Flying

Alive or dead, they are flipping good at it!

Alive or dead, they are flipping good at it! Dragonfly backflips described in articles in ScienceDaily 9 February 2021, Imperial College London news 10 February 2021, and PNAS 10 February 2021 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2676.  Dragonflies are noted for superb aerial manoeuvres, including flying backwards, but even the most agile flyer can be knocked off balance or […]

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Bats Flying

Baby Bats Prepared For Landing

Baby bats prepared for landing according to articles in Inside JEB 16 October 2019 and Journal of Experimental Biology 15 October 2019 doi:10.1242/jeb.209163. Echolocating bats use their sonar to help them land, as well as to navigate when our foraging for food. When bats are coming in to land they emit a rapid burst of […]

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Sugar Glider

Jurassic Glider

Jurassic glider found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 9 August 2017. Scientists in China have found two fossils of gliding mammals, similar to living flying squirrels and gliding possums. Both fossils are exquisitely preserved showing the folds of skin between the body and limbs that could be extended for gliding flight. […]

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Swift Wing Secrets

Swift wing secrets revealed, according to reports in ScienceNOW and news@nature 25 April 2007. Swifts are small, migratory birds that spend most of their lives in the air. They can eat, mate and sleep whilst flying, changing, or “morphing” their wing shape according to the speed and agility required. A group of scientists led by […]

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Spring Winged Aircraft

Spring winged aircraft described in ScienceNOW, 19 January 2005. Insects use two layers of muscle to flap their wings – as each layer contracts it stretches the other, which then contracts whilst the other layer relaxes and gets stretched ready for the next cycle. This process occurs too quickly to be controlled by nerve impulses, […]

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Seagulls Inspire Spy Planes

Seagulls inspire spy planes, according to an article in BBC News, 27 August 2005. Aerospace engineer Rick Lind and a team of researchers at the University of Florida are developing small unmanned aircraft that can manoeuvre through urban environments where they must avoid numerous obstacles, such as poles and trees, and fly through confined spaces […]

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Pterosaurs had Smart Wings and Big Brains

Pterosaurs had “smart wings” and big brains, according to reports in Nature vol 425, p950, 30 October 2003 and ScienceNOW 29 October 2003. Lawrence Witmar of Ohio University, and colleagues have studied computerised x-rays of pterosaur skulls and found they had large semi-circular canals and an enormous flocculus area in their brain. The semi-circular canals […]

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