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Re: Microraptor aerodynamic performance in wind tunnel

From: Ben Creisler

My bad...I had corresponded with somebody in another format and forgot
to switch back to plain text. I hope this fixes the problem.

On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 8:25 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new online paper:
> Gareth Dyke, Roeland de Kat, Colin Palmer, Jacques van der Kindere, Darren
> Naish & Bharathram Ganapathisubramani (2013)
> Aerodynamic performance of the feathered dinosaur Microraptor and the
> evolution of feathered flight.
> Nature Communications 4, Article number: 2489
> doi:10.1038/ncomms3489
> http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/130918/ncomms3489/full/ncomms3489.html
> Understanding the aerodynamic performance of feathered, non-avialan
> dinosaurs is critical to reconstructing the evolution of bird flight. Here
> we show that the Early Cretaceous five-winged paravian Microraptor is most
> stable when gliding at high-lift coefficients (low lift/drag ratios). Wind
> tunnel experiments and flight simulations show that sustaining a high-lift
> coefficient at the expense of high drag would have been the most efficient
> strategy for Microraptor when gliding from, and between, low elevations.
> Analyses also demonstrate that anatomically plausible changes in wing
> configuration and leg position would have made little difference to
> aerodynamic performance. Significant to the evolution of flight, we show
> that Microraptor did not require a sophisticated, ‘modern’ wing morphology
> to undertake effective glides. This is congruent with the fossil record and
> also with the hypothesis that symmetric ‘flight’ feathers first evolved in
> dinosaurs for non-aerodynamic functions, later being adapted to form lifting
> surfaces.
> ===
> News release with video:
> http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2013/sep/13_168.shtml
> http://phys.org/news/2013-09-dinosaur-tunnel-insight-evolution-bird.html