Scientists Perform Wind-Tunnel Tests on Dinosaurs

Scientists Perform Wind-Tunnel Tests on Dinosaurs

In a different and first-of-its-kind research, scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK carried out dinosaur wind-tunnel tests.

To know more about how the birds started to fly, the researchers put a 3 feet long accurate model of a Microraptor (Genus of small and paravian dinosaurs with five wings) into a wind tunnel. This Microraptor found in China about 15 years back, belonged to early Cretaceous period, i. e. 120 to 125 million years back. The scientists believe that this dinosaur was among the first ever flying dinosaurs.

At present, birds have two wings, but in the mentioned period birds had four to five wings. Therefore, raising questions like how these dinosaurs flew with feathers on their tail, legs and arms.

The study has concluded that after the experiment it was proved that dinosaurs were first to take the flight with help of their feathers. These dinosaurs did not fly like the birds do, rather took glides for passing small and medium level distances.

"Significant to the evolution of flight, we show that Microraptor did not require 'modern' wing morphology to undertake effective glides, as the high-lift coefficient regime is less dependent upon detail of wing morphology," told Gareth Dyke, a Vertebrate Paleontology Expert, from the University of Southampton.

The study was published in Nature Communications on Wednesday.

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