Scientists worked with a model created on the basis of fossils. The work of specialists from the U.S. and China, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Its essence is contained in the press release the University of Kansas.
Chetyrehkrylye or Microraptor dinosaurs were small feathered dinosaurs, which lived about 120 million years ago (that is the age of the fossil remains discovered Microraptor). There is no scientific consensus about how exactly Microraptor used its four wings. Some experts believed that dinosaurs had planned from branch to branch. Other scholars hold the view that Microraptor lived on the ground and wings help them make long jumps.
The creators of the work decided to experimentally verify the first hypothesis. They constructed a model Microraptor, consisting of a skeleton, the clay body and pheasant feathers. In order to pens in their properties resembled the feathers of these Microraptor, the researchers shortened and “pluck” them (the ancient feathers were incomplete). In addition, the authors have created a more simple model Microraptor foam.
By running the model with different heights, scientists found that Microraptor to plan for long distances. Video of the experiments is available here. According to the authors, their work shows that it is planning to branch to branch was the first stage of flight, not only Microraptor, but also in other feathered winged dinosaurs.
From the point of view of researchers, as well as the interpretation of the results of their experiments do not agree to all the colleagues of authors. Critics of the new work, the reasons which lead portal ScienceNOW, believe that “posture”, which has a model Microraptor during the flight, were anatomically impossible