Tagged: evolution

The Limit of Aerial Evolution

The thought of a Cessna 152 dropping out of the sky from 20,000 ft at 300 mph and pulling out of the plunge five feet off of the ground would scare most pilots to death. But for Argentavis magnificens, it was a lifestyle. Six million years ago, the twenty-three foot wide monster bird would come […]

Triassic Delta Wing Gliders

Delta-winged aircraft have been around for several decades, and their use has revolutionized the aerospace industry. Yet apparently nature had already designed a delta-winged glider long before humans had lifted themselves off of the ground. Delta wing designs are named for their triangular shape, and roughly 225 million years ago nature had produced a small, bipedal, lizard-like glider with a similarly triangular shape.

Pros and Cons of the Avian Skeletal System

Over the course of millions of years, birds have evolved a particularly unique skeletal system among the animal world.   Naturally, much of the difference between mammalian and avian skeletal systems arises due to most birds’ capability of flight.  Granted, flight is a highly advanced evolutionary adaptation; however, birds sacrifice a good deal to achieve it.  […]

Evolution of Mammalian Flight

As previously stated, bats are the only mammals truly capable of flight. But why is this? Of all the species of mammals, why is it that only the Order Chiroptera can achieve flight? And how did such an extraordinary adaptation come to be? Well…the answer is…we really are not sure. But there is evidence that […]

A Bird’s Breath

To humans, Avian flight can seem to be a simple, effortless, freeing experience. Birds seem to flap effortlessly to great heights before they coast and find a thermal, staying aloft for hours at a time. As we know, this is far from the case. The flight of a bird is extremely complex in many respects, […]