These Two Bird-Sized Dinosaurs Evolved Bat-Like Wings, but Struggled to Fly - SciTechDaily
Oct 22, 2020 1 min, 16 secs
October 22, 2020.

Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, researchers report today (October 22, 2020) in the journal iScience.

The findings support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved.

“Once birds got into the air, these two species were so poorly capable of being in the air that they just got squeezed out,” says first author Thomas Dececchi, Assistant Professor of Biology at Mount Marty University.

Yi and Ambopteryx were small animals from Late Jurassic China, living about 160 million years ago.

Credit: Thomas Alexander Dececchi.

You basically have to model them as the biggest bat, make them the lightest weight, make them flap as fast as a really fast bird, and give them muscles higher than they were likely to have had to cross that threshold,” says Dececchi.

Credit: Thomas Alexander Dececchi/iScience.

It’s not a great thing to do, but sometimes it’s a choice between losing a bit of energy and being eaten,” says Dececchi.

The researchers are now looking at the muscles that powered Yi and Ambopteryx to construct an accurate image of these bizarre little creatures.

“I’m used to working with the earliest birds, and we sort of have an idea of what they looked like already,” Dececchi says?

Alexander Dececchi, Arindam Roy, Michael Pittman, Thomas G.

Larsson, Xiaoli Wang and Xiaoting Zheng, 22 October 2020, iScience.

October 21, 2020

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October 19, 2020


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