Watch A Dinosaur Fly In A Wind Tunnel


A 5-winged dinosaur edition in a wind tunnel helps scientists bear in mind the origins of flight.

The three-foot-lengthy Microraptor, one of the vital smallest dinosaurs within the fossil document, had feathers on its hands, legs and tail. Its atypical-having a look 5-wing gliding setup gives clues to the earliest evolution of flight, in line with a brand new learn about in Nature Communications.

To determine how precisely Microraptor might have flown, a team of scientists from the University of Southampton in the UK designed an anatomically accurate model and tested its abilities for stability and speed in a wind tunnel. The early Cretaceous dinosaur was a paravian–a classification of dinosaurs that were closer to birds than species like the T. Rex.

In the wind tunnel, the blue 3-D model of a Microraptor showed that the dinosaur probably would have flown down from the trees and glided slowly across medium distances. The dinosaur would have been most stable by generating a great deal of lift with its wings, but the exact positioning and angles of the wings, which haven’t been determined, didn’t make much of a difference–small changes in the shape and orientation of the wings and legs didn’t change how well the model flew. The researchers write that this suggests early fliers like Microraptor “did not require a sophisticated, ‘modern’ wing morphology to undertake effective glides.”

See part of the wind tunnel test in the video below:

The study is published in Nature Communications today.





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