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Re: Again: origin of bird flight (and apologies to KFC)




Jim Cunningham wrote:

How would one go about demonstrating this mathmatically?

Jim

Tim Williams wrote:

> Distally-located gliding surfaces do nothing at all for lift.


Good question. Not being a mathematician or an aeronautical engineer, I have no idea where to start.

As a biologist, I'd suggest testing the idea empirically. This has done before (with frogs), but not with scale models of fuzzy (or feathery) theropods - as far as I know. It would be very difficult to test for orientation and control during leaps, since in the real animal the arms and hands would no doubt be adjusted during "flight".

We could always strap a long tail to a chicken and selectively prune its feathers, then push it out of a tree and see where it lands. As a means of encouraging the chicken to maneuver during its descent, we could place a vat of the Colonel's Secret Sauce at the bottom of the tree.

That strikes me as rather cruel, however.


Tim

------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy J. Williams

USDA/ARS Researcher
Agronomy Hall
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014

Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax:   515 294 3163

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