Identification of avian flapping motion from non-volant winged dinosaurs based on modal effective mass analysis

Published on May 2, 2019in PLOS Computational Biology
· DOI :10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006846
Yaser Saffar Talori (THU: Tsinghua University), Jing-Shan Zhao (THU: Tsinghua University)+ 3 AuthorsJingmai K. O'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The origin of avian flight is one of the most controversial debates in Paleontology. This paper investigates the wing performance of Caudipteryx, the most basal non-volant dinosaur with pennaceous feathered forelimbs by using modal effective mass theory. From a mechanical standpoint, the forced vibrations excited by hindlimb locomotion stimulate the movement of wings, creating a flapping-like motion in response. This shows that the origin of the avian flight stroke should lie in a completely natural process of active locomotion on the ground. In this regard, flapping in the history of evolution of avian flight should have already occurred when the dinosaurs were equipped with pennaceous remiges and rectrices. The forced vibrations provided the initial training for flapping the feathered wings of theropods similar to Caudipteryx.
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Published on Oct 1, 2017in Naturwissenschaften1.84
Ulysse Lefèvre5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Liège),
Andrea Cau14
Estimated H-index: 14
(UNIBO: University of Bologna)
+ 4 AuthorsPascal Godefroit20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)
Genuine fossils with exquisitely preserved plumage from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of northeastern China have recently revealed that bird-like theropod dinosaurs had long pennaceous feathers along their hindlimbs and may have used their four wings to glide or fly. Thus, it has been postulated that early bird flight might initially have involved four wings (Xu et al. Nature 421:335–340, 2003; Hu et al. Nature 461:640–643, 2009; Han et al. Nat Commun 5:4382, 2014). Here, we describe Se...
Published on Jun 1, 2017in Palaeoworld1.14
Corwin Sullivan22
Estimated H-index: 22
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Xing Xu41
Estimated H-index: 41
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Abstract Recently reported specimens from the Mid-Late Jurassic Yanliao (or Daohugou) Biota and Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of Northeast China suggest that the early evolution of avian flight involved a surprising amount of homoplasy and evolutionary experimentation. Pennaceous feathers of variable size, structure, and extent occur on the hindlimbs of numerous Jehol and Yanliao paravian theropods, including some basal birds, and clearly had an aerodynamic function at least in the dromaeosaurid ...
Published on Jul 7, 2016in PeerJ2.35
T. Alexander Dececchi8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Queen's University),
Hans C. E. Larsson22
Estimated H-index: 22
(McGill University),
Michael B. Habib10
Estimated H-index: 10
(SC: University of Southern California)
Background: Powered flight is implicated as a major driver for the success of birds. Here we examine the effectiveness of three hypothesized pathways for the evolution of the flight stroke, the forelimb motion that powers aerial locomotion, in a terrestrial setting across a range of stem and basal avians: flap running, Wing Assisted Incline Running (WAIR), and wing-assisted leaping. Methods: Using biomechanical mathematical models based on known aerodynamic principals and in vivo experiments and...
Published on Apr 21, 2016in PLOS ONE2.78
Ashley M. Heers7
Estimated H-index: 7
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History),
David B. Baier11
Estimated H-index: 11
(PC: Providence College)
+ 1 AuthorsKenneth P. Dial32
Estimated H-index: 32
(UM: University of Montana)
Some of the greatest transformations in vertebrate history involve developmental and evolutionary origins of avian flight. Flight is the most power-demanding mode of locomotion, and volant adult birds have many anatomical features that presumably help meet these demands. However, juvenile birds, like the first winged dinosaurs, lack many hallmarks of advanced flight capacity. Instead of large wings they have small “protowings”, and instead of robust, interlocking forelimb skeletons their limbs a...
Published on May 1, 2015in Nature43.07
Xing Xu41
Estimated H-index: 41
Xiaoting Zheng15
Estimated H-index: 15
+ 7 AuthorsYanhong Pan13
Estimated H-index: 13
A recently discovered fossil belonging to the Scansoriopterygidae, a group of bizarre dinosaurs closely related to birds, represents a new scansoriopterygid species and preserves evidence of a membranous aerodynamic surface very different from a classic avian wing.
Published on Dec 12, 2014in Science41.04
Xing Xu41
Estimated H-index: 41
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Estimated H-index: 47
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 4 AuthorsDavid J. Varricchio28
Estimated H-index: 28
(MSU: Montana State University)
Research on the origin and evolution of birds has gathered pace in recent years, aided by a continuous stream of new fossil finds as well as molecular phylogenies. Bird origins, in particular, are now better understood than those of mammals, for which the early fossil record is relatively poor compared with that of birds. Xu et al. review progress in tracing the origins of birds from theropod dinosaurs, focusing especially on recent fossil finds of feathered dinosaurs of northeastern China. They...
Published on Aug 1, 2014in Science41.04
Michael S. Y. Lee50
Estimated H-index: 50
(University of Adelaide),
Andrea Cau14
Estimated H-index: 14
(UNIBO: University of Bologna)
+ 1 AuthorsGareth J. Dyke28
Estimated H-index: 28
(University of Southampton)
Recent discoveries have highlighted the dramatic evolutionary transformation of massive, ground-dwelling theropod dinosaurs into light, volant birds. Here, we apply Bayesian approaches (originally developed for inferring geographic spread and rates of molecular evolution in viruses) in a different context: to infer size changes and rates of anatomical innovation (across up to 1549 skeletal characters) in fossils. These approaches identify two drivers underlying the dinosaur-bird transition. The ...
Published on Jul 1, 2014in Nature43.07
Christian Foth11
Estimated H-index: 11
Helmut Tischlinger3
Estimated H-index: 3
Oliver W. M. Rauhut28
Estimated H-index: 28
The discovery of numerous feathered dinosaurs and early birds has set the iconic 'Urvogel' (or 'first bird') Archaeopteryx in a broader context. But this venerable taxon still has the capacity to surprise. A newly discovered specimen from the Solnhofen limestone in Bavaria only the eleventh since 1861 shows a generous covering of feathers all over the body. Of particular note is a hindlimb covering resembling feathered 'trousers'. Analysis of feather distribution on the limbs and tail strongly s...
Published on Jan 1, 2014
Matthias Joachim Ehrhardt17
Estimated H-index: 17
Thomas Koprucki2
Estimated H-index: 2
Published on Dec 1, 2012in Current Biology9.19
Nicholas R. Longrich20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Yale University),
Jakob Vinther27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UoB: University of Bristol)
+ 2 AuthorsAnthony P. Russell37
Estimated H-index: 37
(U of C: University of Calgary)
Summary In modern birds (Neornithes), the wing is composed of a layer of long, asymmetrical flight feathers overlain by short covert feathers [1–3]. It has generally been assumed that wing feathers in the Jurassic bird Archaeopteryx [4–9] and Cretaceous feathered dinosaurs [10, 11] had the same arrangement. Here, we redescribe the wings of the archaic bird Archaeopteryx lithographica [3–5] and the dinosaur Anchiornis huxleyi [12, 13] and show that their wings differ from those of Neornithes in b...
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