Robot dinosaur reveals the secret of the evolution of bird wings

Robot dinosaur reveals the secret of the evolution of bird wings

The origin of bird wings has been an evolutionary mystery for paleontologists for a long time: why do the origin of wings go back to the age of dinosaurs? And if some of those early wings weren’t fit for flight, what were they used for?

Scientists in a recent study Scientific Reports magazine published, used a robotic dinosaur and panicked grasshoppers to argue that the small feathered dinosaurs may have used their primitive wings to lure insect prey out of nests. Their proposed hypothesis also explains why wings evolved before flight.

Piotr Yablonskyan ornithologist at Seoul National University and the author of the article to the New York Times He said in the experiment it was shown that the larger the wings appear, the more insects the birds catch and bring to the nest.

Feathered dinosaurs used their primitive wings to push prey out of their nests

Dinosaur feathers first evolved as short, coarse hairs and were most likely used for protection and display. Only one family of dinosaurs evolved the trident-like feathers that eventually paved the way for the development of wings and flight in today’s birds. But researchers are still not sure if such wings evolved for flight in early dinosaurs or if there was another purpose.

Minyoung Son, a paleontologist at the University of Minnesota and author of the paper, says the presence of early wings in flightless dinosaurs such as Velociraptor and Oviraptor adds to the puzzle. Paleontologists have provided several explanations, pointing out that even primitive wings gave animals more maneuverability and Jumping at a higher height would help. Others say wings enable predators Prevent larger prey from moving. Wings help to nurture eggs and are even useful for showing off to mates and rivals.

But birds sometimes target other species by displaying their wings. Some modern birds flap their wings when hunting, displaying patches of white or contrasting feathers to scare away hidden prey.

Birds take advantage of insects’ tendency to automatically react to rapidly approaching shapes by employing this method, known as the “chase-and-pull-out strategy.” Using the insect’s automatic response keeps birds ahead of most predators. By displaying their wings, birds deceive insects and make the prey appear very soon. They come out of hiding and are eaten on the spot.

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