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Thread: Early birds were biplanes.

  1. #1 Early birds were biplanes. 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Article in New Scientist.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...rly-birds.html

    New fossils have been found from about 120 million years ago, showing feathered flyers that were definitely on the line of evolution leading to modern birds. However, these beasts had four feathered wings - like an aircraft with two sets of wings. One set was on the fore limbs and one set on the hind limbs. The rear wings would not have flapped, but merely been for support and stability.

    Just like the way human aircraft went from less efficient biplanes to more efficient monoplanes, when the technology got more efficient, bird evolution moved to a more efficient design, with only one set of wings.


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    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Just one quibble, they wouldn't have been biplanes but more "canard" (or even "ordinary") aircraft.
    Rear control/ stability surfaces rather than stacked lifting surfaces (which is what a biplane has).


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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Rather old news. the Suggested quad-wing feathering ofMicroraptor has been known and discussed since 2003. There is split opinion on if it provided better flight or worsened it to just gliding. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microraptor
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that birds came before biplanes. Also, I don't think birds have ever been biplanes, considering the lack of mechanical systems.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Rather old news. the Suggested quad-wing feathering ofMicroraptor has been known and discussed since 2003.
    Actually, new news. Microraptor was regarded as a bit of an outlier. The new fossils show that the four winged model was 'normal' in the early days of bird evolution.
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  7. #6  
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    Old or new, it's welcome science to some of the stuff that's been on the forum lately.

    And one thing to always remember... scientific study is never concluded. There is always news and updated material.
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  8. #7  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Ahhh, just read the Science article. The authors do note the presence of larger and more extensive feathering then generally seen in modern birds, but make no suggestions at all about the use of the feathers. The flight aspects seem to be speculation of the New Scientist ​writer.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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