Research

# video | A dinosaur robot showed how birds learned to fly.

Scientists have many reasons to believe thatbirds evolved from dinosaurs - there is an assumption that the transition between ancient lizards and birds is an animal called Archeopteryx. It lived about 150 million years ago and probably learned to fly, jumping from place to place and plan between them. However, now scientists have evidence that birds have learned to fly, not through planning, but with the help of gradual flapping of their wings. This was proven thanks to a robot that repeats the anatomical structure of another ancestor of birds - the carnivorous dinosaur caudipteryx.

He is considered the oldest representativefeathered dinosaurs with a pair of small wings. In terms of body size and structure, he looked like modern ostriches, so scientists began to suggest that while running, he could well begin to flap his wings, after which he and his descendants could soar into the sky.

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To test their hypothesis, researchers underunder the guidance of Professor Jing-Shan, Zhao analyzed the mechanical effect of running on various parts of the body of an ancient animal. According to their calculations, running at a speed of 2.5 meters per second could cause involuntary flapping of their undeveloped wings.

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To see this, they createdthe robotic skeleton of the dinosaur caudipteryx, and put it on the treadmill. As expected, the movement of the legs instantly reflected on the wings, causing movements that are very similar to waving. Researchers saw the same effect during another experiment - they attached artificial wings to the back of a young ostrich, which also began to work while running.

Our work shows that the movement of the wingsdeveloped passively and naturally when dinosaurs ran on the ground. Although this oscillatory movement could not lift dinosaurs into the air, they could later learn to parry and fly.

Jing-Shan Zhao, author of the study

In the future, the researchers intend to calculate what kind of thrust force could create these involuntary vibrations of the wings.

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