Ancient birds out of the egg running

The ~125 million-year-old Early Cretaceous fossil beds of Los Hoyas, Spain, have long been known for producing thousands of petrified fish and reptiles (Fig. 1). However, researchers have uncovered an extremely rare, nearly ...

Songbirds set long-distance migration record

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have studied flight routes to determine how far willow warblers migrate in the autumn. The results show that the willow warbler holds a long-distance migration record in the ten-gram ...

Video: feathers not included

Inspired by the beauty and flying ability of birds, Leonardo da Vinci strived centuries ago to create a human-powered flapping-wing flying machine. But his designs, which da Vinci explored in his Codex on the Flight of Birds, ...

Leonardo da Vinci's take on dynamic soaring

Although Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is known to have studied bird flight, few people realise that he was the first to document flight maneuvers, now called dynamic soaring. Birds use these maneuvers to extract energy from ...

Chinese Cretaceous fossil highlights avian evolution

A newly identified extinct bird species from a 127 million-year-old fossil deposit in northeastern China provides new information about avian development during the early evolution of flight.

Small birds fly at high altitudes towards Africa

A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that small birds migrating from Scandinavia to Africa in the autumn occasionally fly as high as 4,000 metres above sea level—probably adjusting their flight to take advantage ...

The early bird got to fly: Archaeopteryx was an active flyer

The question of whether the Late Jurassic dino-bird Archaeopteryx was an elaborately feathered ground dweller, a glider, or an active flyer has fascinated palaeontologists for decades. Valuable new information obtained with ...

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