Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Avian Flight$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John J. Videler

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299928

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299928.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 26 April 2019

Evolution of bird flight

Evolution of bird flight

Chapter:
(p.94) 5 Evolution of bird flight
Source:
Avian Flight
Author(s):

John J. Videler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299928.003.0005

Bird flight began to evolve some 150 million years ago. This chapter discusses typical structures of the oldest bird-like fossils of Archaeopteryx. Conflicting scenarios — the arborial and cursorial — describe how flight might have evolved. A new hypothesis is offered that explains most of the peculiar anatomical features, and suggests a matching ecological niche. Archaeopteryx is depicted to run like a Basilisk lizard over water. A quantitative biomechanical assessment shows that it could have generated the lifting forces required using spread wings and tail. Abundant water skaters from the same deposits are suggested as a possible food source. The remains of younger Mesozoic bird-like animals reveal the existence of parallel lines of evolution of flight related characters. A few groups of flying birds survived the mass extinction 65 million years ago, and were ancestral to the extant birds rapidly radiating during the beginning of the Tertiary.

Keywords:   Archaeopteryx, arborial scenario, cursorial scenario, anatomy, Basilisk lizard, biomechanics, water skaters, Mesozoic birds, modern birds

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .