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Brown and Harvard scientists have learned that a single ligament at the
shoulder joint stabilizes the wings of birds during flight. In an advanced
online publication of Nature, they explain how this tough bit of tissue
evolved to become a linchpin for todays fliers.
How animals got off the ground how limbs became wings is a fascinating
question, said team leader David Baier, a post-doctoral research fellow in
the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown. What we
learned here is that, in the evolutionary line to birds, a single ligament
played an increasingly important role in flight.